Yemen-Bound Aid Vessel Unloads in Djibouti

Yemen-Bound Aid Vessel Unloads in Djibouti  Yemen-Bound Aid Vessel Unloads in Djibouti

The cargo ship 'Iran Shahed' carrying 2,500 tons of humanitarian aid docked in Djibouti on Friday to have its consignment inspected by UN representatives before being sent to war-ravaged Yemen, Fars news agency reported.

The report, however, did not disclose details on when the ship will be inspected or when it might resume its journey to the Arab country.

Secretary General of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Ali Asghar Ahmadi said on Friday mooring of the vessel in Djibouti was for "assessing the situation" to ensure the aid delivery to the Yemeni people. The decision on the continuation of the ship's forward journey was due to be taken on Saturday, according to the official.

Iranian ambassador to Djibouti and Ethiopia, Ali Bahreini welcomed the people on board on Friday night, telling reporters of a plane carrying humanitarian aid, which was scheduled to land in the African country within a few hours.

Bahreini said Iranian authorities are maintaining constant contact with the UN and the World Food Program (WFP) in an effort to dispatch humanitarian aid to the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah in the shortest time possible.

Iran Shahed is carrying medical supplies, food and tents. In addition, medical staff, members of the IRCS and anti-war campaigners from the US, Germany and France as well as journalists are on board.

The aid vessel left the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on May 11 and was scheduled to arrive in Hudaydah on May 21, before it was diverted from its direct route to Yemen for UN inspection.  

According to IRNA, Iran is loading a second aid vessel that will depart for Yemen early next month. It will include 12,000 tons of foodstuff.

Saudi warplanes in late April prevented an Iranian cargo plane carrying medical supplies from landing in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has been conducting military strikes against Yemen since March 26. The Saudi attacks have been taking place without a UN mandate and in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to fugitive president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The United Nations says that since March 19, over 1,800 people have been killed and 7,330 injured due to the conflict in Yemen, which was exacerbated by the Saudi airstrikes. The Saudi-led coalition includes nine Arab states and has logistical support from the US, France and Britain.