Thursday, August 11 2022

SANAA: Yemen’s Houthi militia said on Tuesday it had authorized the temporary resumption of UN aid flights to the capital Sana’a, a week after a shutdown due to Saudi coalition airstrikes.
“The Civil Aviation Authority announces the resumption of UN and other organization flights to Sana’a airport on a temporary basis,” Houthi-run television Al-Masirah reported.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (of the rebel administration) has been contacted to inform the UN and all international organizations that Sana’a airport is ready to receive flights.”
Yemen has been ravaged by civil war since 2014, pitting the government – backed by the Saudi-led coalition – against the Iran-backed Houthis who control much of the north.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Flights to the Houthi-held capital have been largely interrupted by a Saudi-led blockade since August 2016, but there have been exemptions for aid flights which are a lifeline for the population.
The Houthi militia had said UN aid flights to Sana’a were interrupted by Saudi airstrikes last week, but the coalition said the airport had already been closed two days earlier and blamed them. insurgents.
Coalition spokesman Turki Al-Maliki said on Sunday that the Houthis were “militarizing” Sana’a airport and using it as “the main center for launching ballistic missiles and drones” into the kingdom.
He also accused Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah group of helping the Houthis launch missiles and drones at Saudi Arabia, where two people were killed last week.
On Saturday, the coalition launched what it called a “full-scale” military operation against the Houthis after the deadly attack.
Coalition raids killed three civilians, including a child and a woman, Yemeni doctors said.
The coalition maintains that its operations are conducted in accordance with international humanitarian law and has repeatedly accused the Houthis of using civilians as human shields.
Saudi Arabia has long accused Iran of providing the Houthis with sophisticated weapons and its Hezbollah proxy of training insurgents.
Tehran denies the charges, while Hezbollah on Monday dismissed the Saudi charges as “ridiculous.”
The US Navy said last week it seized 1,400 AK-47 rifles and ammunition from a fishing boat it said was smuggling weapons from Iran to the Houthis,
The Houthis accused the coalition on Tuesday of preventing the entry of “communication and navigation devices … into Sana’a airport to replace the old ones.”
“The UN and international organizations have been informed that the long-term operation of these devices is not guaranteed, given their age,” they added.
The activists also warned that they would “hold the UN and international organizations responsible for landing and take-off operations in the event of a sudden failure of the aircraft.”
The Iranian-backed militia has repeatedly launched missile and drone strikes against neighboring Saudi Arabia, targeting the kingdom’s airports and oil infrastructure.
As the UN and the US push for an end to the war, the Houthis have demanded an end to the coalition’s blockade of Sana’a airport before any ceasefire or negotiations.
The UN estimates that the war in Yemen will have killed 377,000 people by the end of the year, from both direct and indirect impacts.
More than 80 percent of Yemen’s population of around 30 million depend on humanitarian aid.

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