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

Violet Powell
November 15, 2017

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".

Transport minister Mourad al-Halimi had said Yemenia flights to the pro-government-held cities of Aden and Seiyun would resume on Sunday, but the national carrier said it did not have the necessary permits to fly.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen announced a suspension of border crossing via air, marine and land routes following a ballistic missile fired from Yemen targeting Saudi capital Riyadh on November 6.

Jamie McGoldrick said the north of the country had 20 days' stocks of diesel, which were crucial for pumping water and fighting a huge cholera outbreak, and 10 days' stocks of gasoline, with no prospect of resupply soon. The move came after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired towards Riyadh, which it blamed on Tehran. The Houthis have denied that.

Al-Mouallimi told reports from NY that the Coalition would conduct this process in complete agreement with Yemen's internationally recognized government, to allow the safe delivery of humanitarian aid.

Iran to probe state-built homes destroyed by deadly quake
The death toll of 530, reported by state news agency IRNA, made it Iran's deadliest natural disaster in more than a decade. One aid agency said 70,000 people needed shelter and the United Nations said it was "ready to assist if required".

He said many weapons have been smuggled to the Houthis through Hodeida and the small ports they control.

"The first step in this process will be taken within 24 hours and involves reopening all the ports in areas controlled by" Yemen's internationally recognized government, which the coalition backs, read the mission's statement.

Dujarric said Tuesday that the United Nations is ready to hold conversations over the issue of inspection. "Without Sanaa airport and Hodeidah and Salif seaports fully functioning and able to receive cargo, the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen will continue", Dujarric told reporters in NY. The coalition closed all Yemen air, land and seaports last week in response to a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh.

United Nations aid operations need access to the ports of Hodeida and Saleef because more than two-thirds of the people in need are closest to those ports, he said. More than 2,000 Yemenis have died in a cholera outbreak now affecting almost one million people, AFP reported.

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