Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Saudi-led coalition wants Yemen weapons checks strengthened before main port reopens

Saudi-led coalition wants Yemen weapons checks strengthened before main port reopens

The civil aviation department of Yemen said on Tuesday that the Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting rebels in Yemen inflicted an airstrike on the Sanaa worldwide airport, which resulted in the destruction of its navigation system.

Hedile noted the first flight carrying 218 passengers took off today.

The ports were closed after Houthis attacked Riyadh near its worldwide airport through a ballistic missile on November 4.

After two years of a devastating war, the Houthis still control much of Yemen's north while the south falls under the embattled President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government is recognised by the global community and who is supported by the Saudi-led coalition.

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.

For the ports in rebel-controlled or disputed territories, the Saudi mission has stated that it has asked for a team of experts from the come and discuss the ways to ensure there is no smuggling of weapons.

The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen said it will continue to block the main aid route into the country until it is satisfied its Houthi opponents can not use it to bring in weapons.

Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said the reopening of the ports was for the "safe transfer of humanitarian actors and humanitarian and commercial shipments" into Yemen.

Iran denies arming the Houthis and blames the conflict in Yemen on Riyadh.

After the blockade by the Saudi-led coalition, the United Nations has warned that already catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Yemen was worsening each day as the country 90% depends on exports for daily necessities. Saudi Arabia and the United States have alleged that the ballistic missile used in the attack was supplied by Iran.

The blockade "is complicating what is already a catastrophic situation", McGoldrick said.

The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 5,00,000 Yemenis have been infected with cholera this year.

The US-backed coalition has been at war with the Shi'ite rebels, known as Houthis, since March 2015. The port of Aden controlled by allies of Saudi Arabia but does not have the capacity, according to the United Nations, to handle the necessary volume of humanitarian cargo.

The House of Representatives on Monday held its first ever debate over US military engagement in the civil war raging in Yemen and passed a non-binding resolution calling on parties to wage the conflict humanely and work toward bringing it to an end.

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