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Yemeni forces sink vessel of Saudi-led coalition off Mukha

13 August 2017, 07:19 | Darnell Patrick

Yemeni forces sink vessel of Saudi-led coalition off Mukha

Yemeni forces sink vessel of Saudi-led coalition off Mukha

The UAE's state-run Wam news agency reported the fatalities, quoting Colonel Turki Al-Malki, the spokesman for the Coalition to Restore Legitimate Government of Yemen.

"The closure of Sanaa airport and the limitation of flights to exclusively those carrying aid was due to concerns for the safety of civilian travel and commercial flights, as well as the smuggling of weapons by the Huthis", al-Maliki said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

He further called on the global community to open Sana'a airport as soon as possible, because the 30 million Yemeni citizens are deprived of their travel rights through the capital airport.

"We have been in contact with the government of Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition to advocate the reopening of Yemen's airspace around the airport for humanitarian flights", he said.

The Saudi-led coalition forced the closure of Sanaa airport in August 2016 to all but a few United Nations aid flights on the grounds that the airport was a main channel of arms smuggling for the rebels.

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UAE-trained Yemeni special forces backed by the United States earlier this month launched a major operation against Al-Qaeda, driving it from the oil-rich Shabwa province.

The UAE is a key component of the Saudi-led coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015, when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into exile as the rebels threatened to overrun his last stronghold.

The jihadists are thought to have moved farther south into neighbouring Abyan province.

Mohamed al-Bakheit, a member of the Houthi political council, said he had no comment to make about the allegations.



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