07:46 GMT +322 November 2019
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    International Committee of the Red Cross workers unload a cargo plane carrying humanitarian relief supplies for civilians  at the airport in Sanaa, Yemen (File)

    First Humanitarian Aid Arrives in Yemen After Saudi Blockade Lifting - Reports

    © AP Photo / Hani Mohammed
    Middle East
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    After a missile launch by the Houthi rebels targeting Riyadh, Saudi Arabia decided to tighten the blockade of Yemen, which hampered the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Yemeni civilians.

    A UN plane with humanitarian aid workers has arrived this morning in the Yemeni capital, Sana, for the first time since Saudi-led coalition closed all Yemeni ground, air and sea ports, Reuters reported citing the spokesman of the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

    The Sanaa airport officials have confirmed that two other humanitarian flights had landed in Yemen on Saturday.

    ​The Saudi-led coalition spokesperson said that permits were issued for humanitarian aid naval shipments as well, however, officials at the port reported on Saturday that no ships have yet arrived.

    Humanitarian aid deliveries have been resumed after Saudi authorities informed the UN on Friday that they would allow civilian flights operated by the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) to arrive in the Yemeni capital beginning Saturday.

    READ MORE: UN Chief Guterres Calls For Cessation of 'Stupid' Saudi-Yemeni War

    On November 6, Saudi Arabia imposed a blockade on Yemen as a response to a missile launch from its territory in a bid to prevent the transfer of military goods to the Houthis, as the kingdom accused Iran of supplying Yemeni rebels with short-range ballistic missiles.

    Iran denied allegations of arming the Yemeni rebels, whereas the UN Security Council-appointed panel reportedly also did not find proof of Saudi Arabia's claims that Iran was responsible for the recent missile attack by the Houthis. According to the panel members, Yemen's blockade by the Saudi-led coalition was an attempt to impede food deliveries to the country.

    READ MORE: NGOs Join UN Call to Lift Saudi-Led Blockade Threatening Yemen With Starvation

    Yemen has been engulfed in a bitter conflict between the government and Houthi rebels supported by the army loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh since 2015, with a coalition backed by Saudi Arabia conducting an aerial operation in the country at the request of incumbent President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.


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    blockade, humanitarian aid, UN World Food Program (WFP), Saudi Arabia, Sanaa, Yemen
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