Saudi-led coalition air raid shuts down Yemen's Sanaa airport - agency

16 November, 2017, 02:31 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • Saudis Will Open Aid Deliveries to Some 'Loyal' Yemen Ports

The announcement from the Saudi mission at the United Nations came after the coalition fighting Yemen's rebels, known as Houthis, faced widespread worldwide criticism over the closure, with the U.N. and over 20 aid groups saying it could bring millions of already suffering people closer to "starvation and death". The missile was intercepted near the capital of the country.

- Saudi Arabia intensifies blockade on Yemen. While the language of the resolution calls to "increase efforts to adopt all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent civilian casualties and increase humanitarian access", it does not call for an end to US support of the Saudi-led coaltion attacking Yemen. The port of Aden controlled by allies of Saudi Arabia but does not have the capacity, according to the United Nations, to handle the necessary volume of humanitarian cargo.

Yemeni officials in Sanaa, which is held by the rebels, said the airport's runway had also been damaged, claiming fix crews were already at work. However, Saudi Arabia demanded more rigorous checks at the Red Sea port of Hodeida, which is being controlled by the rebels.

The coalition has forced the closure of Sanaa airport for more than a year now, but permitted United Nations aid-suppling planes.

"The humanitarian impact of what is happening here right now is unimaginable", Mr. McGoldrick told reporters.

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Jamie McGoldrick of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, who is based in Amman, said UN staff had visited the airport and spoken with authorities there.

"The humanitarian aspect of this is something we need to address immediately because we can't have those ports closed or those airports closed while we wait for discussions on new (inspection) mandates to go ahead".

After intercepting a Riyadh bound missile last week that was sacked by the Houthi militia, Saudi Arabia tightened their embargo on Yemen, closing all air, land and sea ports with the aim of preventing the smuggling of any weapons into Yemen.

A week after hearing dire warnings of mass starvation in Yemen, the UN Security Council appeared powerless on Wednesday to push the Saudi-led coalition to lift its blockade of humanitarian aid.

Sammad said that with the blockade, the coalition "shut down all doors for peace and dialogue".



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