SAT 19 - 1 - 2019
Nov 3, 2018
The Daily Star
Arab coalition bombs base next to Sanaa airport
CAIRO/ADEN, Yemen: The Arab coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen said Friday it bombed an air base adjacent to Sanaa International Airport allegedly being used by the rebels to launch drone and ballistic missile attacks. Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the coalition, said in TV comments that no flights or international aid efforts at the airport were affected by the airstrikes targeting the Al-Dulaimi air base in Sanaa. He did not elaborate. Yemen’s rebel-run Al-Masirah TV said more than 30 airstrikes by the coalition targeted the base and surrounding areas in the rebel-held capital.
Malki said Saudi air defense forces Friday shot down a missile launched by Yemeni rebels at the southern Saudi border city of Najran.
The rocket was fired from the rebels’ stronghold of Saada in northern Yemen, he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, fighting in Hudaida province has intensified in the past days, security officials said. They said forces backed by airstrikes from the coalition have been trying to retake the port city of the same name.
A pro-government military source told AFP that loyalist forces had reached its university.
The advance sparked intense fighting with rebels, with medical workers at two hospitals in the city reporting at least 34 Houthi fighters killed and dozens wounded over the past 24 hours.
Pro-government military officials and a medic in Hudaida said six loyalist fighters had died in the violence.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres meanwhile appealed for an end to the war and laid out steps the parties in the conflict must take to move forward.
“Yemen today stands on a precipice. On the humanitarian side, the situation is desperate. We must do all we can to prevent the already dire conditions from deteriorating,” Guterres told reporters at the U.N.
He said recent political developments had created signs of hope for a settlement, and he urged the warring parties to halt the violence.
Guterres’ remarks come three days after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for a cessation of hostilities and said U.N.-led negotiations to end the war should begin in November. Several other countries have also joined the call for an end to the conflict.
Guterres called for commercial and humanitarian imports of food, fuel and essentials to be allowed without restrictions and urged the sides to allow roads to remain open so “lifesaving goods can reach communities across the country.”
He called on Yemeni parties to engage in good faith negotiations, without preconditions, with U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths to reach a negotiated political settlement.
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