Rockets Strike Key Yemen Airport a Day After Reopening

By: Agence France-Presse
July 23, 2015 11:07 PM

2015-0725 Rockets Strike Key Yemen Airport a Day After Reopening

Southern Resistance fighters flash the victory sign at the international airport of Yemen’s southern port city of Aden, July 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

ADEN, YEMEN – Aden’s international airport, a vital aid supply artery for war-torn south Yemen, came under rocket fire Thursday, a day after it reopened following nearly four months of fierce fighting.

Katyusha rockets were fired at the facility as a Saudi military plane was delivering 20 tonnes of humanitarian aid, officials said.

Three rockets fell close to the landing strip as the cargo plane, the second to land at Aden since Wednesday, was still on the tarmac, airport security chief Abdallah Qaed told AFP.

Qaed accused Shiite Huthi rebels of attacking the plane, adding that a further volley of seven rockets struck around the airport once the aircraft had taken off again.

“These Katyusha rockets were fired by the Huthis and fighters of Ali Abdallah Saleh,” Yemen’s ousted former leader said.

Most of the rockets struck ground around the airport, causing minimal damage, and two landed on a nearby road, officials and residents said.

Forces loyal to exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by Saudi-led coalition warplanes, pushed the rebels and pro-Saleh troops out of most of Aden last week.

Aden airport was among the first areas to be recaptured by the loyalists, who are benefiting from the support of forces freshly trained and equipped by the coalition.

A Saudi military plane carrying aid touched down Wednesday in what officials said was the start of an airlift aimed at helping the more than 21.1 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance.



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