Yemen airports close amid intensified Saudi raids
Airports have been closed and flights suspended across Yemen amid intensified Saudi Arabian military strikes against the impoverished country.
The airport closures took place on Wednesday as Saudi fighter jets continued to hit the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and other cities across the country.
Saleh al-Samad, the head of the Ansarullah movement’s Political Council, called the continued Saudi strikes and the resultant halt to air travel a flagrant violation of human rights and international law.
He said the aerial transfer of medical and food supplies to millions of people across Yemen had been halted as a result of the suspension of the flights.
Samad held the United Nations (UN) responsible for failing to act on the situation in Yemen and the continued Saudi war on the country.
Riyadh has intensified military strikes on Yemen following the failure of a second round of negotiations between the Houthi Ansarullah delegates and their allies on the one side and the representatives of Yemen’s former regime on the other.
The former regime delegates are loyalists to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who has resigned as Yemen’s president but seeks to forcefully return to power. The Saudi war was launched in March 2015 to enable Hadi’s reinstatement.
The Ansarullah movement and its political allies have been running Yemen since Hadi’s resignation and escape from the country. Fighters from the movement and allied army units have been fighting back against Saudi Arabia.
Peace talks were launched in Kuwait on April 21, but no major breakthrough has ever been made amid sharp differences between the two sides.
Houthis say any potential peace process should, first and foremost, facilitate the formation of a national unity government and the appointment of a new consensus president, who would oversee transition.
Meanwhile, the latest Saudi airstrikes have killed more than 34 people throughout the country.
On Tuesday, the UN’s children fund, UNICEF, said the Saudi invasion had killed 1,121 children and wounded 1,650 others.
Earlier in the week, independent legal organizations said the Saudi war had, in the whole, claimed the lives of 9,722 people, including 2,260 children and 1,677 women.