Saudi Arabia Orders Humanitarian Aid Groups Out of Northern Yemen

UN Reminds Saudis They're Obliged to Allow Access to Aid Groups

Saudi Arabia has sent letters to a number of aid groups, along with the United Nations’ aid organization, warning them all to withdraw all employees from northern Yemen to “protect their employees” amid ongoing Saudi attacks against the cities and towns in the area.

Saudi Arabia attacked Yemen in March of last year, and has been repeatedly taken to task for the massive civilian death toll of their air campaign, along with a naval blockade that has limited food and other aid deliveries to parts of the country held by Shi’ites.

The UN, for its part, says it has no intention of withdrawing any aid workers from northern Yemen, and publicly “reminded” Saudi Arabia that international law obliges them to allow humanitarian aid groups access to war zones. Saudi officials, however, insist the warning is perfectly legal.

A recent UN report concluded that Saudi Arabia has been systematically targeting civilians with airstrikes throughout the war, warning they amount to crimes against humanity. Saudi Arabia has US backing in the war, however, meaning no UN Security Council measures will be taken against them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of