The coalition of Arab states forced the closure of Sanaa airport to all but very limited UN flights in August last year saying it was necessary to prevent arms smuggling – AFP
CAIRO – 23 November 2017: The Saudi-led coalition decided to reopen Sanaa airport and the Red Sea port of Hodeida starting Thursday to allow the access of humanitarian relief to the Yemeni people.
The coalition announced in a statement that it would “reopen Sanaa airport to receive the UN aircrafts dedicated for humanitarian relief efforts.”
The statement reads that a comprehensive humanitarian plan, aiming to help the Yemeni people and to facilitate the entry of food to all Yemeni governorates, will be announced soon.
The coalition called for a meeting with a team of UN experts to review and enhance UN’s inspection and verification mechanisms, in order to achieve the best practices that would protect the Yemeni people and prevent Houthi militants from smuggling missiles and targeting neighboring countries, the statement read.
On November 4, Saudi Arabia said that its air defense units intercepted a ballistic missile northeast of Riyadh, saying that it was fired from Yemen; accordingly, Saudi Arabia closed Yemen's air, sea and land borders.
In 2015, Saudi Arabia led a coalition of nine African and Middle Eastern countries including Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, to reinstate President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s government in Yemen.
On June 5, the Saudi-led coalition announced ending Qatar’s membership, over allegations of Qatari support for terrorist organizations.
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