Saudi coali­tion hits air­port in Ye­men

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

SANAA, Ye­men — The Saudi-led mil­i­tary coali­tion fight­ing Ye­men’s Shi­ite rebels bombed the air­port in the rebel-held cap­i­tal, Sanaa, on Tues­day, Ye­meni of­fi­cials said, though there were con­flict­ing re­ports as to the ex­tent of dam­age caused in the strike.

The United Na­tions said most of the air­port re­mained in­tact and that it would be able to re­ceive aid ship­ments once they restart — af­ter the coali­tion loosens the block­ade of the war-torn coun­try as it had an­nounced Mon­day.

But Ye­meni of­fi­cials in Sanaa, which is held by the rebels known as Houthis, said the air­port’s run­way and a ground nav­i­ga­tion tower were dam­aged. Re­pair crews were al­ready at work, they added, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity as they were not au­tho­rized to talk to re­porters.

Jamie McGoldrick of the U.N. Of­fice for the Co­or­di­na­tion of Hu­man­i­tar­ian Af­fairs said U.N. staff had vis­ited the air­port and spo­ken with au­thor­i­ties there and that its “run­way, taxi­way, ramp, ter­mi­nal and air traf­fic con­trol tower were not hit and are in good con­di­tion.”

The U.S.-backed coali­tion has been at war in Ye­men with the Shi­ite rebels, known as Houthis, since March 2015. The coali­tion closed all Ye­men air, land and sea ports last week in re­sponse to a rebel bal­lis­tic mis­sile at­tack on Riyadh.

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