Care International Calls on Saudi-Led Coalition to Ease Blockade

Care International Calls on Saudi-Led Coalition to Ease BlockadeCare International Calls on Saudi-Led Coalition to Ease Blockade

The United Nations has called for the Saudi-led coalition to ease its 12-month blockade of Yemen’s main airport so the sick and injured can get out and aid can get in.

Care International’s Wael Ibrahim, the country director in the Yemen capital Sanaa, described the blockade as “collective punishment for people in Yemen”, ABC News reported.

“There is absolutely no justification for the airport to continue to close,” he said.

“It serves no purpose except people’s suffering.”

The Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing Yemen shut down the Sanaa airport a year ago because it was in a territory controlled by its opponents, the Houthi fighters, claiming it needed to be closed due to security concerns.

Since then the only flights the Saudis have allowed in and out of the airport are UN, Red Cross or Médecins Sans Frontières humanitarian flights.

The closure comes as Yemen is on the brink of famine, with 20 million people in need of food aid. One in three children has severe malnutrition and the health system is collapsing.

The Yemeni Ministry of Health estimated 10,000 people had died because they could not get specialist treatment inside the country, nor could they be flown out to other locations.

Yemen has been crippled by a Saudi-led brutal military campaign for more than two years that wants to eliminate the Houthis and reinstall a Riyadh-friendly former president. The Saudi military campaign, however, has failed to achieve either of the goals.

The protracted war, which has been accompanied by a naval and aerial blockade, has already killed over 12,000 Yemenis.

  Saudi Soldiers Killed

The US-equipped Saudi Army has suffered heavy losses by Houthi fighters. At least 14 Saudi fighters were killed on Tuesday by Houthi fighters in the southwestern province of Taizz, local media reported.

The Saudi soldiers were killed when they tried to approach Houthi’s strategically important camp of Khalid bin al-Waled, the Saba news agency reported.

In a separate incident, Houthis hit a military vehicle, killing three soldiers and injuring their commander, according to the media outlet.

The Houthi fighters shelled Saudi troops deployed in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern province of Najran. The exact number of victims of the incident was unknown.


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