Saudi Alliance Bombs Sanaa Airport, Blocking Aid Access

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On 6 November the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition announced a temporary closure of all Yemen's airports, seaports and land crossings, effectively halting access to commercial and humanitarian goods to 27 million people. The coalition closed all Yemen air, land and seaports last week in response to a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh.

The air raid destroyed the Sanaa airport's radio navigation station for aircraft, civil aviation authorities told SABA, which is controlled by the Houthis.

Air traffic at San'a's airport is now restricted to flights carrying humanitarian aid sent by the United Nations and other worldwide organizations.

"The humanitarian impact of what is happening here right now is unimaginable", said the UN's aid coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, this week. For ports in rebel-held or disputed territories, such as the city of Hodeida, the mission said it has asked the U.N.to send a team of experts to discuss ways to make sure weapons can't be smuggled in.

Since Saudi Arabia has closed the Hodeideh Port in western Yemen, civilians have been at a high risk of starving to death or dying from an illness due to the lack of medicine.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to push back the Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa, and restore the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

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Yemeni officials in Sanaa, which is held by the rebels, said the airport's runway had also been damaged, claiming fix crews were already at work.

He added: "In the light of this, is it not foolish for the United Kingdom Government to be supporting, tacitly and with arms, Saudi Arabia while it is committing such clearly illegal acts in Yemen?".

On Monday Saudi agreed to reopen ports in government controlled areas, but demanded extra security measures be put in place around the rebel controlled port of Hodeida.

However, Mr McGoldrick said there was "no indication" yet of the blockade being lifted.

United Nations aid operations need access to the ports of Hodeida and Saleef because more than two-thirds of the people in need are closest to those ports, he said.

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi told reporters in NY on Monday that ports in government-controlled areas such as Aden, Mukalla and Mocha will be reopened.

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