An air raid by the Saudi-led military coalition put Yemeni airport in the Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a out of service today, jeopardising relief shipments to a country on the brink of famine, the state news agency SABA reported.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi movement said last week it had closed all air, land and seaports in Yemen to stem what it said was the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran.
Air raids destroyed radio navigation station for aircraft, civil aviation authorities told SABA, which is controlled by the Houthis.
Air traffic in Sana’a’s airport is currently restricted to flights carrying humanitarian aid sent by the United Nations and other international organisations.
The Houthis control most of the north, including Sana’a and its international airport, while the Saudi-led coalition dominates the airspace. Any reopening would need an agreement between the two sides, which blame each other for Yemen’s humanitarian disaster.
The top UN aid official in Yemen called on the Saudi-led coalition today to open all Yemen’s sea ports urgently, saying it risked damaging the fight against cholera and hunger, with seven million already in “famine-like conditions”.
Millions of lives were at risk because of the blockade, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said to reporters in Geneva by telephone from Amman. The Saudi-led coalition was not immediately available for comment.