Saudi Ara­bia says will lift its siege of Ye­men air, sea ports

Tehran Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The House of Saud regime’s mis­sion to the United Na­tions says Riyadh and its al­lies will re­open air­ports and sea­ports in Ye­men which is al­ready fac­ing a dire hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion in the face of a crip­pling block­ade.

The an­nounce­ment came af­ter the UN and more than 20 aid groups strongly de­nounced the block­ade, warn­ing that it could bring mil­lions of peo­ple closer to “star­va­tion and death.”

“The first step in this process will be taken within 24 hours and in­volves re­open­ing all the ports in ar­eas con­trolled by” the Riyadh-backed for­mer Ye­meni govern­ment, the mis­sion said in a state­ment on Mon­day. Those ports are in Aden, Mocha and Mukalla in south­ern Ye­men.

Early this month, the House of Saud regime an­nounced that it was shut­ting down Ye­men’s air, sea, and land bor­ders, af­ter Ye­meni fight­ers tar­geted an in­ter­na­tional air­port near the Saudi cap­i­tal with a cruise mis­sile.

For the ports in An­sarul­lah (Houthi) move­ment-con­trolled ar­eas, in­clud­ing Hu­day­dah, the Saudi regime mis­sion said that it had asked the UN to send a team of ex­perts to dis­cuss ways to stop what it called weapons smug­gling into Ye­men.

On Sun­day, the An­sarul­lah move­ment threat­ened to strike war­ships and oil tankers of the Saudi regime and its al­lies in the war in re­tal­i­a­tion for the block­ade im­posed on the Ye­meni ports, par­tic­u­larly the south­west­ern port of Hu­day­dah.

Mean­while, thou­sands of Ye­meni peo­ple on Mon­day staged a protest in front of the UN head­quar­ters in the cap­i­tal Sana’a against the Saudi block­ade and the clo­sure of the coun­try’s land, air and sea ports.

The House of Saud regime has been in­ces­santly pound­ing Ye­men since March 2015 in an at­tempt to re­in­state for­mer pres­i­dent Abd Rab­buh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.

More than 12,000 peo­ple have been killed since the on­set of the cam­paign more than two and a half years ago. Much of the Peninsula coun­try’s in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing hospi­tals, schools and fac­to­ries, has been re­duced to rub­ble due to the war.

An­other 2,100 peo­ple have died of cholera since April as hospi­tals strug­gle to se­cure ba­sic sup­plies across the coun­try.

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