Saudi-led coalition bombs airport runway in Yemen's capital

Saudi-led coalition bombs airport runway in Yemen's capital

The announcement from the Saudi mission at the United Nations came after the coalition fighting Yemen's rebels, known as Houthis, faced widespread global criticism over the closure, with the U.N. and over 20 aid groups saying it could bring millions of people closer to "starvation and death".

An air raid by the Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Houthi movement in Yemen shut down the airport in the capital Sanaa on Tuesday, further isolating the country where millions are on the brink of starvation, the state news agency SABA reported.

Jamie McGoldrick of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Tuesday the world body is aware of an announcement that the coalition was allowing deliveries to two ports in southern Yemen, AP reported.

"The continued closure by the Saudi-led coalition of critical seaports and airports is aggravating an already dire humanitarian situation".

He said that a United Nations verification and inspection mechanism already in place could work with the Saudi-led coalition on implementing new procedures but that keeping ports closed in the interim was not viable.

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"This will have no impact on our operations once they resume", McGoldrick said in an email from Amman, Jordan.

The Saudi U.N. ambassador denied that there has been an embargo, saying "a temporary procedure" was taken for a few days to ensure the safety and security of Yemenis and Saudis, and that supplies were available.

"We would ask that the coalition opens all the seaports as a matter of urgency and allows humanitarian and other supplies to move, as well as the movement of aid workers", he said. More than 2,000 Yemenis have died in the epidemic. "The humanitarians are just holding things together, waiting for a peace process which is very much in the distance".

Yemen had commercial wheat stocks for three months for the entire population of 28 million and about 120 days of rice.

Yemen's national airline said on Tuesday a commercial flight had landed at Aden worldwide airport after acquiring security permits.

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