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Four Humanitarian Aid Flights Land in Yemen in 24 Hours

© REUTERS / Khaled AbdullahA volunteer carries hygiene kits provided by UNICEF, amid a cholera outbreak, in Sanaa, Yemen, May 24, 2017
A volunteer carries hygiene kits provided by UNICEF, amid a cholera outbreak, in Sanaa, Yemen, May 24, 2017 - Sputnik International
On Thursday, a source in Yemen's Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority told Sputnik that the Saudi-led coalition had barred UN aircraft from landing in the Sanaa airport, despite its Wednesday’s pledge to allow aircraft and vessels, carrying UN humanitarian aid, in the airport, as well as in Al Hudaydah and Salif seaports.

SANAA (Sputnik) – Also, on Friday, a spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) said that the coalition had informed the United Nations that it would allow civilian flights operated by the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) to arrive in the Yemeni capital starting on Saturday.

Finally, on Saturday, three aircraft from the United Nations, and one plane from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), carrying humanitarian cargo, landed in the Sanaa International Airport in Yemen.

​"Four airplanes have recently landed in the Sanaa International Airport, two from the United Nations, one from the United Nations Children's Fund, which has brought 15 tonnes of vaccines for the children, and another one from the International Committee of the Red Cross," the source in country's Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority said.

The Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi insurgent movement in Yemen said it was closing the Yemeni ground, air, and sea ports on November 6, following a ballistic missile fired over Riyadh from Yemen. By imposing the blockade, the coalition aimed to halt alleged arms deliveries to the Houthis from Iran.

​The blockade has been subsequently partially lifted. However, the humanitarian organizations have called on Saudi Arabia to fully end the blockade, as it may lead to further deterioration of the acute humanitarian crisis in the country.

Namely, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock has said that the blockade might result in the largest famine in the world in many decades, bringing millions of victims.

Yemen has been for years engulfed in a violent conflict between the government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Shiite Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah, and backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Since March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request.

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