Yemen rebels announce temporary resumption of UN flights into Sanaa

AFP , Tuesday 28 Dec 2021

Yemen's Houthi rebels said Tuesday they have allowed the temporary resumption of UN flights into the capital's Sanaa airport, a week after a halt due to Saudi-led coalition air strikes.

Yemenis inspect damage following a reported overnight air strike by the Saudi-led coalition targeting in the Huthi rebel-held capital Sanaa, on December 24, 2021. AFP

"The civil aviation authority announces the resumption of UN and other organisation flights into Sanaa airport on a temporary basis," the rebel-run Al-Masirah television reported.

"The (rebel administration's) foreign ministry was contacted to notify the UN and all international organisations that Sanaa airport was ready to receive flights."

Yemen has been embroiled in a civil between the government-supported by the Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels since 2014.

Flights into the rebel-held capital have been largely halted by a Saudi-led blockade since August 2016, but there have been exemptions for aid flights that are a key lifeline for the population.

The Houthi rebels said UN aid flights into Sanaa had been halted by Saudi-led air strikes last week but the coalition said the airport had already been closed two days earlier and blamed the rebels.

Coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said Sunday the Ho

uthis were "militarising" Sanaa airport and using it as a "main centre for launching ballistic missiles and drones" towards the kingdom.

The Houthis on Tuesday accused the coalition of preventing the entry of "communication and navigation devices... into Sanaa airport to replace the old ones".

"The UN and international organisations have been informed that the long-term operation of these devices are not guaranteed, given how old they are," they added.

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