21:58 GMT26 January 2020
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    The closure of Sanaa International Airport in Yemen is an unfortunate element of the multilateral war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, which has resulted in civilians suffering, according to the director of the Yemeni Democracy Monitoring Center, Abdel Wahab Al Sharfi.

    Al Sharfi told Sputnik that the most affected people in this situation are civilians who cannot leave in order to receive medical treatment and basic health necessities. 

    According to him for over a year the politicians have been solving their political tasks to the detriment of ordinary Yemenis.

    Al Sharfi further spoke about how Saudi Arabia is waging a multilateral war against Yemen

    In addition to the military campaign, “Sana'a airport was closed, the central bank was moved to the south of the country, and the ports of al-Mocha and al-Hodaida were attacked. The purpose of these actions is to hide the failures that the Arab coalition suffered at the fronts as it failed to achieve any significant success in two and a half years,” Al Sharfi said.

    Meanwhile on August 11, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that control over Sana'a airport is not in the competence of the UN, but in the jurisdiction of the parties to the Yemeni conflict.

    This was a response to the appeal of the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia to promote the restoration of commercial and civil flights at the Yemeni airport.

    Regarding the UN's refusal to take control of Sana'a airport, the expert said that the organization considered the call of Saudi Arabia “an attempt to absolve itself of responsibility.” 

    “The control of the airport by the UN forces is beyond the scope of international law…. Now there is no need to redistribute control zones; this will not help solve the Yemeni conflict. Let everything remain as it is,” the expert said.

    Al-Sharfi also commented on the visit of the special envoy of the UN secretary general for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in Tehran. 

    In his opinion, the UN wants to use the good relations between Tehran and Sanaa to attract countries that oppose the war in Yemen, to resolve the current crisis, albeit at the political level.

    It has been one year since Sana’a Airport was shut down, and more Yemenis have died from not being able to travel for specialized medical care than those who have been killed by airstrikes.

    According to data from the Ministry of Health in Sana’a over 10,000 Yemenis have now died from health conditions for which they were seeking medical treatment abroad.

    “Restrictions imposed on Yemen’s airspace by the Saudi-led coalition resulted in the official closure of Sana’a International Airport to commercial flights on August 9, 2016, leaving many Yemenis with no safe means of transport in or outside the country,” the Norwegian Refugee Council reported.

    Before the conflict in Yemen, an estimated 7,000 Yemenis were traveling abroad from Sana’a International Airport for medical treatment, which was not available in the country, and after the conflict broke out this number grew exponentially before the airport was shut down.

    Yemen has been mired in a civil war since 2015. The war is being waged between the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries launched airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request.

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    Tags:
    crisis, military campaign, airport, civilians, cholera, United Nations, Yemen
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