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Saudi-led coalition to allow commercial flights to Yemen

Saudi Arabia, November 12, 2017

The Saudi-led military coalition fighting against Yemen’s Houthi movement will allow the resumption of international commercial flights to the country, a Yemeni government minister said, easing its nationwide blockade.

The alliance said on Monday it had closed all air, land and sea ports in Yemen to stem the alleged flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired towards on the capital Riyadh it blamed on Tehran.

Flights by national carrier Yemenia to the pro-Saudi government-held cities of Aden and Seiyun would resume on Sunday, Yemeni Transport Minister Mourad al-Halimi said in a statement late on Friday.

The United Nations had warned that a total blockade could cause a famine that could kill millions in Yemen, where two and a half years of war has killed at least 10,000 people and unleashed famine and disease in the already impoverished country.

The government-held southern port of Aden was reopened on Wednesday, but ports in Houthi-held areas are still shut. The coalition reopened the al Wadea border crossing linking Saudi Arabia with territory in eastern Yemen on Thursday.

middleeastmonitor