March 23, 2018

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

15 November 2017, 03:39 | Kevin Scott

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

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

The Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen shut down the country's land, sea and air borders a week ago in response to a missile attack by the Iran-backed Houthis that was intercepted near Riyadh. A young girl had her face painted half black, half white - her red flowered veil completing the colours of Yemen's national flag.

Al-Mouallimi said the Saudi-led coalition wants tougher inspections at the port of Hodeida, which is controlled by Houthi Shiite rebels, because current United Nations -monitored inspections only check large ships, and "in the case of small and medium-size ships there is hardly any inspection that takes place in the port or anywhere else". The Houthis are said to be allied with Iran, though how much is in dispute. Saleh al-Samad, the head of the Huthi political council, demanded that the coalition end its blockade on Yemen - where both parties in the conflict stand accused of neglecting civilian safety.

He also said that the more the blockade tightens, the more the Houthis will develop their abilities to "respond to the assault of the enemy".

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to push back the Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa, and restore the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

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Those ports are in Yemeni cities of Aden, Mocha and Mukalla.

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".

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