Houthi rebels accuse Saudi-led coalition of bombing Sanaa Airport in Yemen
Nov 14, 2017 World 4598 By Sharon Ayomide
- Houthi rebels accuse Saudi-led coalition of bombing Sanaa Airport in Yemen.
- Saudi Arabia intensifies blockade on Yemen.
- Aims to prevent smuggling of weapons into Yemen.
Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched fresh accusations on the Saudi-led military coalition over the bombing of Sanaa Airport which is Yemen's main international airport.
According to Houthi officials, the Saudi-led coalition launched two airstrikes early
on Tuesday to decimate the Airport and further frustrate any efforts to use it in the delivery of aid in the war torn Yemen.
"This attack is intended to cause maximum damage and deprive millions of Yemenis from receiving life-saving food and medicines," Mohammed, a Houthi official who declined to give his surname, said.
The Houthi-run General Authority for Civil Aviation said in a statement the air strike "led to the total destruction of the VOR/DME radio navigation system, taking it offline and thus halting the only flights at Sanaa airport - those of the UN and other international organisations delivering humanitarian assistance".
"The authority emphasises that attack is an explicit violation of international covenants and treaties, which stipulate that civilian airports are not targeted," it added.
After intercepting a Riyadh bound missile last week that was fired by the Houthi militia, Saudi Arabia tightened their embargo on Yemen, closing all air, land and sea ports with the aim of preventing the smuggling of any weapons into Yemen.
George Khoury, the UN country director for Yemen, told Al Jazeera he was "concerned" Tuesday's air strikes could affect operations in the country.
"Millions of Yemenis depend on this airport for aid and we have hundreds of staff use it to move in and out of the country," he said.
"We are still assessing the situation ... but are extremely concerned at the risk posed to our supply pipelines."
"Seventy percent of families in Yemen live from hand to mouth, they buy from the shops and eat that very night at the table. If there is any breach in our supply pipeline, it will greatly impact millions," Khoury added.