By Stephanie Nebehay and Suleiman Al-Khalidi GENEVA/AMMAN (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of civilians could be cut off from food if Syrian government forces encircle rebel-held parts of Aleppo, the United Nations said on Tuesday, warning of a massive new flight of refugees from a Russian-backed assault. Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air strikes and Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, have launched a major offensive in the countryside around Aleppo, which has been divided between government and rebel control for years. The assault to surround Aleppo, once Syria's biggest city with 2 million people, amounts to one of the most important shifts of momentum in the five year civil war that has killed 250,000 people and already driven 11 million from their homes.
By Mohammed Ghobari and Yara Bayoumy CAIRO/DUBAI (Reuters) - The recapture of Aden by Gulf Arab coalition troops last summer has failed to provide any respite from Yemen's civil war, with residents facing a wave of bomb and gun attacks that is crippling efforts to stabilize the city. Since July, the Gulf coalition and local security forces have struggled to impose order in Aden, opening the way for Islamic State, al Qaeda and other armed groups to operate there with impunity. The challenges in Aden show how difficult it will be to restore order to a country gripped by months of conflict in which 6,000 have been killed and where Islamist militants have exploited widespread security weaknesses in what Saudi Arabia sees as its backyard.