'No Indication' Saudi Coalition Reopening Yemen Ports

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McGoldrick was speaking to reporters in Geneva by phone from Amman, because he said flights into Sanaa were blocked.

A statement issued by the Coalition on Monday said it hopes the United Nations teams of experts would prevent "the smuggling of weapons, ammunitions, missile parts and cash that are regularly being supplied by Iran and Iranian accomplices to the Houthi rebels". "We have some 21 million people needing assistance and seven million of those are in famine-like conditions and rely completely on food aid", United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said.

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.

The conflict began in 2015 when the Houthis took over Yemen's capital of Sana'a and the Yemeni government. "This will have no impact on our operations once they resume", Mr McGoldrick said. The north of the country, home to 78 percent of the population, had 20 days' stocks of diesel, crucial for pumping water and fighting cholera, and 10 days' stocks of gasoline, with no prospect of resupply soon, he said.

Saudi Arabia said Monday that the coalition would reopen seaports and airports in areas controlled by the Yemeni government, but those in rebel-held areas, including Hudaydah and Sanaa, would remain closed. Yemen's national airline said on Tuesday a commercial flight had landed at Aden global airport after acquiring security permits.

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The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world's top priority humanitarian crisis, with more than 17 million people lacking food, seven million of whom are at risk of starvation.

Air traffic in Sana'a's airport is now restricted to flights carrying humanitarian aid sent by the United Nations and other global organisations.

The Saudi-led coalition hopes that will prevent "the smuggling of weapons, ammunitions, missile parts and cash that are regularly being supplied by Iran and Iranian accomplices to the Houthi rebels", the statement said.

Aden port, which is controlled by allies of Saudi Arabia, does not have the capacity to handle the necessary volume of humanitarian cargo, he added. And landing aid there would also involve having to cross front lines to deliver it.

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