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UN calls on Houthis to refrain from closing Sanaa airport to relief flights

UN Calls on Houthis to allow relief flights to Sanaa airport

The UN called on the Houthi militia, the Iranian arm in Yemen, to refrain from suspending its future humanitarian flights to Sanaa Airport, even if the reasons are technical, warning that this undermines relief operations in the country.
The UN said in a statement to the Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, David Grisley, that “after the closure of the de-facto authorities on December 19 of the Sana’a International Airport and air strikes the following night, the United Nations team visited the airport on December 21, and determined that it was still usable in cases of emergency.
“The airport’s closure to humanitarian flights severely undermines relief operations, and we are deeply concerned about any further disruptions,” he added.
United Nations also called to allow urgent entry of essential equipment into Sanaa airport, which is under Houthi control.
She stressed that “the equipment is necessary to ensure the safe use of humanitarian flights at the airport and the continuation of relief operations in Yemen.”
The Houthi militia canceled – earlier – all permits for international flights to Sanaa Airport, to pressure for the opening of flights to navigation.
The UN had announced that the Houthi authorities had effectively prevented humanitarian flights to and from Sanaa airport, a day before the coalition air strikes that targeted Houthi military activities at the site.
In a statement, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said that the UN is now exploring alternatives to transport supplies and staff to and from Sanaa.

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