Yemen rebels say raid destroys airport navigation aids

Yemenis protest against the blockade of aid by Saudi Arabia PressTV

Yemenis protest against the blockade of aid by Saudi Arabia PressTV

The top United Nations aid official in Yemen called on the Saudi-led coalition on Tuesday to open all Yemen's sea ports urgently, saying it risked damaging the fight against cholera and hunger, with 7 million already in "famine-like conditions".

"The flights will increase gradually in the coming days", the official said, noting Yemenia would resume its four weekly flights from Aden to Cairo, two to Jeddah and Riyadh, three to Amman and one to Khartoum.

The more the blockade tightens, he said, the more the Houthis will develop their abilities to "respond to the assault of the enemy".

On Monday, the coalition said it would ease the blockade and allow flights to Aden and open the southern city's port, but it refused to reopen Hodeidah port.

It says those ports are in Aden, Mocha and Mukalla.

Yemen's Sanaa global airport still can be used to receive United Nations humanitarian flights following a recent airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition, however, the coalition should provide relevant security guarantees, Stephane Dujarric, the United Nations secretary general's spokesman, said.

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 U.N.to come and discuss the ways to ensure there is no smuggling of weapons. The three-year-long conflict has resulted in an estimated 10,000 people being killed.

Millions of lives were at risk because of the blockade, United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said to reporters in Geneva by telephone from Amman. he said.

"The humanitarian impact of what is happening here right now is unimaginable", Mr. McGoldrick told reporters.

"The first step in this process will be taken within 24 hours and involves reopening all the ports in areas controlled by" Yemen's internationally recognized government, which the coalition backs, read the mission's statement.

McGoldrick says access to such ports is "helpful" but that the key need is access to the rebel-held Red Sea ports of Salif and Hodeida, closer to large population centers.

The US-backed coalition has been at war with the Shi'ite rebels, known as Houthis, since March 2015.

Sammad said that with the blockade, the coalition "shut down all doors for peace and dialogue". The Hodeida port is held by rebels in Yemen. Aden port, which is controlled by the coalition, does not have the capacity to handle the volume of humanitarian cargo and would mean hazardous cross-line deliveries.

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