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A boat carrying 2.5 tonnes of medicine has docked in Aden, the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) says, the first shipment it has delivered to the city since the recent fighting in Yemen escalated.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said that a surgical team also arrived by boat on Wednesday in Aden.

"It's nearly catastrophic," the ICRC's spokesperson in Yemen, Marie Claire Feghali, told the Reuters news agency. "Shops are closed, so people cannot get food, they cannot get water. There are still dead bodies in the street. Hospitals are extremely exhausted."

The Listening Post - Challenging the coverage of Yemen

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra said around two tonnes of aid had been delivered to hospitals several hours later.

The fighting in Aden has escalated between Houthi forces and their allies, and local militias loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, as Saudi-led coalition air strikes intensify and continue to bombard the southern coastal city.

The World Health Organization says at least 643 people have been killed in the conflict across the country, with more than 2,200 wounded. Tens of thousands of families have also been displaced.

Iran advocates political solution

The increasing humanitarian crisis in Aden comes as the United States confirmed that it is expediting an arms shipment to Saudi Arabia. This is despite comments from the US defence secretary that the escalated conflict had provided al-Qaeda with an "opportunity" to gain new territory in Yemen.

Meanwhile, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has called for a political solution to the crisis, saying that "war and bloodshed must stop in this area immediately and a complete ceasefire must be established and the strikes must stop".

Rouhani, during a joint press conference with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he hoped the two countries, and other countries in the region would contribute to "peace, stability, a broader government and dialogue" between Yemenis.

Rouhani's comments came as Iran dispatched a naval destroyer and another vessel to the Gulf of Aden on the Red Sea on Wednesday.

Iran's English-language state broadcaster Press TV quoted Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari as saying that the ships would be part of an anti-piracy campaign "safeguarding naval routes for vessels in the region", rather than being directly related to the conflict in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of arming the Houthi rebels in Yemen but Tehran denies the allegations.

Source: Al Jazeera And Reuters