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Coalition Denies Landing to Russian Evacuation Plane en Route to Yemen

© Sputnik / Sergey Mamontov / Go to the mediabankIL-76 airplane
IL-76 airplane - Sputnik International
The Arab Mayadeen news channel reported earlier on Wednesday that an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia prevented a Russian plane from entering Yemen to evacuate its nationals from the crisis-hit country.

The rubble of houses destroyed by an air strike near Sanaa Airport - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The director of an international airport in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, confirmed in an interview with Sputnik on Wednesday that a Russian plane had been denied landing by anti-Houthi coalition forces and had to divert to Egypt instead.

"The crew made contact with coalition forces while flying over the Red Sea," Khaled al-Shayef said.

"The coalition refused to allow the landing [in Sanaa] and the plane had to fly to Cairo," he said.

The Arab Mayadeen news channel reported earlier on Wednesday that an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia prevented a Russian plane from entering Yemen to evacuate its nationals from the crisis-hit country.

The news outlet added that the Russian aircraft's arrival was previously agreed upon, but no official confirmation of a plane being sent to Yemen has been issued by Russian authorities.

Last Thursday, the coalition headed by Saudi Arabia launched a military operation against the Houthi rebels' positions in Yemen. The coalition started carrying out airstrikes upon the request of displaced Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Shiite Houthis, the main opposition force in Yemen, had taken over Sanaa, forcing Hadi to flee the country, and continued rapid advances in other cities.

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