UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council is calling for an immediate halt to fighting in Yemen, saying that only a lasting cease-fire and political settlement can end the six-year conflict in the Arab world’s poorest nation and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The council singled out the military escalation by Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in the oil-rich central province of Marib, the internationally recognized government’s last stronghold in Yemen’s northern half. The offensive has put at risk an estimated 1 million civilians. The council’s press statement followed a briefing Wednesday by U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths, who said he couldn’t emphasize enough that the more than yearlong Houthi offensive “has caused an astonishing loss of life.”
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