the first medical aid flights land in yemen since saad saudi-lead air strikes began 16 days ago. goo to have you with us here on al jazeera. i'm david foster also coming up pakistan frees on bail the suspected master find of the mumbai attacks, infuriating india. a late night phone call sets the stage for the cuba and cuba and u.s. president's meeting.
and cricket says good-bye to the legendary richie benoit. updating you on the latest developments on the war in yemen. the saudi-lead coalition keeping up its air strikes with the defense ministry in the capitol of sana'a. there has been a setback. pakistan's parliament has decided not to join the saudis voting to stay neutral in the conflict. there was some relief for the people of sana'a when planes were able to land for the first time since the air strikes began more than two weeks ago. the united nations now calling for a daily pause in fighting to allow aid in. erika wood has more. >> reporter: this is much-needed medical aid being unloaded at sana'a international airport. it's one of two planes that landed in the yemeni capitol on
friday carrying enough medicine and surgical equipment to treat up to a thousand people. >> the first plane finally arrived after ten days it is full of 16 tons of emergency medical assistance which is very needed now in yemen. we expect a second plane tomorrow hopefully. >> reporter: late on thursday a medical team and supplies also arrived into the southern port city of aden by boat. but properly distributing the aid could prove difficult. the u.n. says roads are being cut off and boats are being prevented from leaving many ports. >> i would like to share with you again, that the humanitarian situation in yemen is getting worse by the hour. conflict is now affecting 15 out of the 22 [ inaudible ] in the country. the situation in aden is extremely, extremely
preoccupying. >> reporter: at least 600 civilians and fighters have been killed so far in this war. there are concerns now about the long-lasting humanitarian toll on the population. >> we expect in the coming weeks there to be an up surge in malnutrition across the country. be there a conflict or not. because it was already a country where [ inaudible ] were under the poverty line. in that is not getting better. cost of living is going up and government services weakened if not falling apart. >> reporter: and this attack on grain silos on thursday night in aden could worsen the malnutrition. forces loyal to the houthi rebels and the former president saleh, blame the saudi-lead coalition for the increasing
death toll and suffering, but regardless of who is to blame, yemen was already one of the world's most impoverished nations before the fighting began, and conditions are likely to get worse as the attacks continue. a car bomb has gone off outside of a security building used by houthi militia men in central yemen killing at least seven. dozens were wounded in the attack where there has been heavy fighting between houthis and local militiamen backed by the saudi-lead air strikes. pakistan as we mentioned saying it is going to stay neutral on yemen despite its stanch ally saudi arabia asking for warships and troops. >> reporter: pakistan has said all along that it would take parliament into confidence and that the people's representatives will then decide
whether the saudi request for help and what way to respond to that so after the debate they came to a conclusion that while there was no compromise on the defense and security of saudi arabia in the event wally that her boundaries or territorial integrity were violated that pakistan would go to any level. however, pakistan was against any military intervention in yemen, and what was needed was proactive measures to try to bring everybody to a negotiated settlement and to arrain for a ceasefire. they will stand shoulder to shoulder with the saudis if they were threatened however, they will remain neutral as far as the conflict inside yemen was concerned. >> we'll more later on the conflict when the saudi-lead
coalition holds its daily briefing. and pakistan has released the man accused of masterminding the assault on mumbai that lead to the deaths of 166 people. he has now been allowed to police custody. our correspondent reports. >> reporter: he is a hated man in india, but when he shows up for court in pakistan his supporters follow. india believes zaki ur rehman lakhvi planned the mumbai siege. his trial has dragged on for years, infuriating india. >> translator: we are very disappointed by what pakistan has done with lakhvi. india wants to influence relations with pakistan and friendly relation should be
maintained. but the recent development is very unfortunately. >> reporter: six years on from the siege it continues to haunt mumbai. over the course of 60 hours men attacked hotels a jewish center and a railway station. nine of the ten attackers were subsequently killed. india believes it was lakhvi and his armed group that orchestrated and trained the gunmen, but according to his lawyer there's not enough evidence which is why he's now on bail. much of the case is based on the confession of the one attacker who survived. india executed him two years ago. the attack is a sensitive issue between the neighbors, who historically have had a difficult relationship. a handshake between the two prime ministers last year was thought to be a defining positive moment. but the decision to release lakhvi on bail could prove to be a setback.
leaders of the united states and cuba are going to be sharing the same stage on friday as the countries try to put behind them 50 years of mistrust. barack obama and raul castro are expected to meet one another at the summit of the americas in panama city. obama signalling he could remove cuba from the u.s. list of state sponsoring terrorism. they spoke on the phone on wednesday before leaving for panama. al-al jazeera's latin america editor is down there in panama city for us. there are some people outside perhaps wanting to unsettle those on the inside? >> reporter: you know, david everything here is supposed to be about peace harmony. lots of hugs and smiles and handshakes but before the
summit gets underway president barack obama will be attending a social forum, and he'll come face-to-face to stanch supporters of the cuban government. this was part of president obama's commitment to meet with cuban civil society in exchange for also sitting at the same table with cuba's communist leader david. >> castro and obama have met before. i remember watching them at nelson mandela's funeral. but it was not an ishlofficial meeting. was this all set out in last night's late night phone call the meeting? >> could you repeat the last thing you said -- >> did they come up with any kind of plan for normalization
of plans between the two countries? >> reporter: david we do not know what they said when they spoke on the phone, but there is ongoing communication -- in fact the prime ministers of both countries met earlier today. that's also historic. the first time that has happened since one year before the cuban revolution. and they are discussing ways to make this diplomatic relationship happen. one of the most important steps is taking cuba off of that list of countries that supposedly sponsor state terrorism. in that was a prerequisite. so they are taking steps towards the normalization. >> lucia, we'll leave it there. thank you very much indeed. this is the daily briefing by the general, talking on behalf of the saudi-lead
coalition taking part on the war efforts in yemen. >> translator: the popular committees by targeting the houthi militias and the members of the rebels -- military rebels and also they are targeting the -- all of the areas. the goal of the military operation, the air strike has not changed. the -- the operation now is in the areas where there are the rebels especially the -- the houthi -- the shiite reconcentrated on the communication stations and also we targeted the gathering of the
houthi militias in the military base or the sada area. also we targeted the 125 near the surrounding of aden. in the east of aden. because there are some units, which is operating in there, and we -- [ inaudible ] and also the [ inaudible ], and also the [ inaudible ] in sada of ammunitions and people. also targeted in the north in the sana'a region and also
the -- we targeted the -- the council of [ inaudible ] which contained the houthi militias. also targeted yesterday some sport places which was in aden used by this militia to hide their ammunitions and also the other support element, and we targeted the militias in the site. this is among other operation which has been conducted. we have some good sources and we're trying to target and bomb the areas inside they were using, and this is reflect as
their behavior. there isn't any military operation as such. it just is an operation we try to target the infrastructure and also using the sports clubs and schools and civilian's places and their operation to harm and cause a disturbance to the citizens' daily life. and this situation in aden has not changed. these militias are still gathering on these areas, and its activities is less now than it was -- than the activities in [ inaudible ]. and the military activities and air operation managed to achieve
its goal in [ inaudible ] and also the dala area, to support the resistance on the ground and also allow all of the humanitarian aid in shebwa and aden and also this -- the operation is to continue in supporting the resistance on the ground and also stop the militias on the ground stopping them from supporting the people in shebwa and [ inaudible ]. also the command building in sada which contains come leadership it was targeted yesterday.
this is a clip from different corner. the area where there were some ammunitions and also the hiding of planes that was targeted also. we would like to confirm that the work is continuing and following and chasing all of the movement, and we came in concentrated operation, especially the ones inside the cities who are exploding the sief of the people into tanker. everyone is insiding that the majority of the cities in london -- in yemen is -- is lack -- of the food.
and trying to stop the militia from using all of its fuel which any area any site which they might be gathering into will be targeted because the -- the planes are, all the time on the yemeni airs. and also all of the sites in [ inaudible ] which has been ceased by the militias has been targeted heavily. some of the ammunition stores as you can see, the explosion inside the depot which contains come of the food and the military ammunitions, which has been hidden.
this particular playground -- or this sports field has been used for this purpose. of course we do not like to target the infrastructure and it was -- it is not a part of the campaign but the necessity may come especially when they are using the stadium, and using it as a space for the operations. the ground operation is continued on the same way. and we targeted all of the areas around the borders, southern borders of the kingdom, but they were very isolated operations
and only need to respond by heavy artillery. the sea operation is continuing as i have stated before. that some of the secure secure -- salvage ship which came from the west coast, which are carrying medical goods and it did protect it and make sure that it reaches the many people which made the help very difficult. so the operations are continuing
where the popular committees are concentrating, and make sure that all of the help is going to the -- to the people. and is not being used by the militias or the rebels so they can get all of the necessary help especially the hospitals, and the -- and those who are not ill. from egyptian [ inaudible ], today the pakistani parliament stood up neutrally on what is taking place in yemen. how does this affect the coalition forces? especially the military pakistani soldiers is very-well trained to the areas, which is similar to the yemeni.
the -- the position -- it was the parliament's position -- the -- the government has not made an announcement the coalition's operation is continuing. so the participating of the pakistani in this operation is for -- the benefit of the yemeni people so any addition of the -- of the -- the pakistani military it will be -- an advantage, and it is good and the pakistani military are known. and also the -- the other
forces, which is where -- are participating with cooperation, they don't lack the knowledge and the expertise. so the -- it will become an addition having the pakistani forces with their coalition. with the help. >> the general there in the daily briefing by the saudi-lead coalition on the operation in yemen, saying there were specific targets still. they are going after targeting munitions and those behind the fighting and intelligence, they are leading them say they to the correct targets. aiming for places where the houthis are hiding themselves and their weapons, and we saw what appeared to be sana'a
airport there, where we saw explosions and also a major sports stadium in aden and he then said towards the end of it pakistan which has now refused to get involved militarily it would have been an addition but the influence being -- as we bring in [ inaudible ] -- the inference being they can still manage without pakistan. but we'll get to that in a moment. can i ask you first of all, from the people you have spoken to, has there been evidence they are damaging the houthis rather than just carrying out all of these raids that many are saying are far worse for the civilians than the fighters. >> the houthis have actually advanced. and yesterday they took the province shall capitol of
shebwa. the resistance they are fightering on the ground don't have heavy weapons. and everybody is one on one, and the balance is level, and it's like arms against like arms if the houthis lose their weapon's supply and then it sees how that balance plays out if they are able to get heavier weapons -- >> last week i was talking about this -- this is a softening up process, isn't it? before they decide whether the fighting on the ground is going to work for them. >> that does appear to be the case at the moment. we have heard of factories that have been targeted as well and the military weapons stores have
repeatedly been targeted. >> the saudi general said that food was getting in to the country, through the port of aden i think he said at one point. let's take a look at some of the pictures he replayed at the press conference. this one, you believe is possibly sana'a airport, which is both a civilian and a mill stair airport. doing this sort of thing -- destroying the infrastructure of such a large installation is going to make it very much more difficult to get that sort of help in in many ways. >> yes, and there have also been claiming that a large grain store was hit, and the naval blockade that has been going on, although they let in medical aid today, it's the food stores that is the issue in yemen. yemen imports over 90% of its
food. and over 460 tons of wheat have been blockaded from entering the country. so it's not just about emergency aid, it's about food sup place. and it's effectively putting 26 million yemenese under siege. >> is the amount of medical supplies that have gone in going to help. >> well it has to happen on a daily basis. around 20 people a day are dying in the fighting. so it's going to need to be a regular occurrence daily, both into sana'a and aden to maintain that. >> thank you. at least 43 members of
iraq's security forces have been killed in fighting with isil in anbar province. the prime minister says a new offensive is to be launched against the armed group in that area. charles stratford reports now. >> reporter: iraqi army targets isil positions near the city of ramadi. they are struggling to demend the area from a push by isil. the fighting comes just days after the military supported by thousands of shia militia took control of the city of tikrit. this is a sunny muslim from that city. he says he is too afraid to go home. >> translator: i can't go back to tikrit because of what we saw the shia militia do. the destruction that was done. they entered the hueses and after they a lotted them they burned them and pretended isil
did it. >> reporter: it did it with the help of around 20,000 shia militia fighters and it's this group that some sunni residents accuse of burning homes, and ransacking buildings. many fled with their families to the northern region of iraq. >> translator: honestly we are far from the actual scene. we don't know exactly what is happening there. what we see on television that the shia militia has a negative impact. we hesitate to go back. >> reporter: iraq's prime minister visited anbar to congratulate his troops. and he has ordered the arrest of anyone breaking the law in areas now under government control. the military accusation it will continue working with the shia militia. it wants to build on the victory in tikrit and push into other
isil-controlled areas. but as the fighting intensifies winning the trust of people like this will be difficult. to quicket this morning, the incomparable australian flair and commentator richie benoit has died. he was one of the most successful players ever. he became even better known as a journalist and television commentator. covering cricket all over the world. the australian government has offered his family a state funeral. >> richie benoit has been the voice of cricket. there would be very few australians who have not passed a summer in the company of richie benoit. he was the accompaniment of an australian summer. >> tribute there to the late
richie benoit. and you can get a great deal more on our website, which will talk about the medical supplies getting into yemen. to find out more details on that and other international affairs, aljazeera.com. that's aljazeera.com. ♪ severe storms tear through three states causing major destruction. communities picking up the pieces. mending ties. president obama speaks with raul castro ahead of the summit of the americas, how their trip to panama could change u.s.-cuban relations. and new questions over a police shooting in south carolina. dash cam video shows what happened in the moments before a white