WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A humanitarian crisis in Yemen prompted the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of mostly Arab Gulf states that conducts airstrikes against the Houthi rebels to call a five-day humanitarian ceasefire that went into effect on Tuesday.
Regarding Iran's ambition to supply humanitarian aid to Yemen, US State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke said:
“We think aid should be organized and coordinated through the UN. We discourage any provocative actions and we encourage the provision of assistance through established channels.”
An Iranian aid ship, backed by warships, is heading towards Houthi control areas despite the naval blockade of Yemen.
On Tuesday, an Iranian general threatened to fire on the Arab ships enforcing the blockade if the Iranian aid ship is stopped.
The stand-off comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the Arab Gulf states, who accuse Tehran of providing weapons to the Houthi rebels.
The United States and other donors are providing aid and assistance through the United Nations.
The Arab Gulf bombing campaign against Houthi forces started on March 26, 2015, creating a humanitarian crisis that is affecting 12 million people, according to the UN.