Two more UAE Aid Planes Land in Yemen

Published: 19:00 June 13, 2015

WAM & Reuters

Unicef says humanitarian crisis in country is deteriorating fast

2015-0616! Two more UAE Aid Planes Land in Yemen

People ride on the back of a pick-up truck in an outskirts of Yemen’s capital Sanaa.  Image Credit: REUTERS

Sana’a: Two UAE planes have reached Yemen with food and medical supplies as part of an air bridge to ensure urgent aid for the country.

The urgent aid was dispatched in line with the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and orders of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to provide succour to the people of Yemen suffering amid the suffering inflicted on them by the takeover of the country by the Al Houthi militia.

The United Nations said on Friday that talks between Yemen’s warring parties scheduled for Sunday have been delayed until Monday as one delegation would be arriving late in Geneva.

Meanwhile, nine people were killed when Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombed a district in Sana’a inhabited by relatives of ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, residents and medics said.

The air raid, which also wounded at least 60 people, came ahead of planned UN-sponsored talks in Geneva aimed at ending Yemen’s conflict that has drawn in regional powers.

Residents said the warplanes had targeted apparently abandoned houses in Bait Me’yad, a district near the heart of Sana’a that is home to a number of relatives of Saleh, whose loyalists are allied with the Al Houthis.

Mohammad Yahya, an eyewitness, said two missiles struck two houses of Saleh relatives’ while a third crashed into the centre of the neighbourhood, causing several casualties. Another witness said three explosions shook the neighbourhood.

“We felt as if the house was going to collapse over our heads,” said the man, identified as Ali Ahmad. “We ran with the children and hid under the stairwell. It was terrifying.”

Medical sources said nine people who had suffered severe injuries died on arrival at hospital while 60 others were under care at three hospitals in Sana’a.

Saleh remains influential in Yemen through his control of the former ruling party, the General People’s Congress, and the loyalty of many in the military, despite having stepped down after mass protests in 2011 against his long authoritarian rule.

He subsequently made common cause with the Al Houthis who seized control of Sana’a last September and forced President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee the country.

The Saudi-led coalition is trying to restore Hadi to power.

The Al Houthis, who have advanced across wide areas of Yemen, say they are pursuing a revolution against corruption and militants, and deny any military or economic links with Iran, which also says it accords them only diplomatic support.

Western powers and the Arab alliance fear Iran, via the Al Houthis, is trying to extend its regional influence into Yemen.

The World Health Organisation said on Friday that 2,584 people had been killed and 11,065 injured in the conflict, which has wrought a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Unicef said on Thursday that 80 per cent of Yemen’s population — over 20 million people — are in need of humanitarian assistance after more than two months of air strikes and heavy factional fighting.

On Friday, six people were killed and a part of the historic Old City in Sana’a, a world heritage site, destroyed in an air raid. Saudi Arabia denied targeting the Old City.

Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova has said she was distressed by the loss of lives and “by the damage inflicted on one of the world’s oldest jewels of Islamic urban landscape”.


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