Monday, 11 December, 2017

Yemen: Saudi Arabia authorize flights to Sanaa

Saudi Arabia eases blockade, reopens Yemen's Hudaydah port Yemen and US Policy: Serious Rethinking Is Imperative
Jerome Frank | 25 November, 2017, 01:35

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said Wednesday it would reopen a key Red Sea port and Sanaa airport to aid, after a more than two-week blockade following a missile attack on Riyadh.

"The magnitude of suffering in Yemen requires all parties to this conflict to focus on assistance to those in need".

"We are monitoring these developments and we are trying to see whether that actually takes place on the ground", United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at United Nations headquarters in NY. "If that were to happen that would be a very welcome and critically important development".

United Nations officials have submitted requests to the coalition for deliveries via Hodeidah and Sanaa, and the "hope and expectation" was that the vital aid pipelines would re-open on Friday, the U.N.'s Laerke said. "We made clear the tremendous amount of needs on the ground".

Saudi Arabia tightened a blockade on Yemen earlier this month after Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the country fired a rocket deep into the conservative Sunni Muslim country.

The reintroduction of commercial traffic to Yemen's ports was also uncertain.

Saudi and US officials have said that the missile fired by the Houthis was manufactured in Iran.

About 7 million people in Yemen, out of a population of 27 million, depend entirely on food aid, and 4 million rely on aid groups for clean water.

He says that "at a time of starvation and a time of cholera, it's very important" to keep all aid channels open.

The spokesperson of the coalition, Turki al-Maliki said on Friday, that the missile launched towards the city of Riyadh entered through the port of Hodeidah.

Worldwide aid groups describe Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with millions at risk of starvation. The missile was shot down, but it was the farthest a projectile fired by Yemen's Shiite rebels, also known as the Houthis, had travelled into the kingdom.

A New-York based relief group has urged an end to the continuing blockade that serves as a "collective punishment" of Yemenis and risks driving 500 children into malnutrition every week.

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