Saudi-led coalition airstrike targets airport in Yemen capital

Saudi-led coalition airstrike targets airport in Yemen capital
A Saudi-led coalition airstrike targeted Sanaa's international airport on Wednesday, the military alliance confirmed.
2 min read
19 December, 2018
The air raid destroyed a drone in the Yemeni capital [Getty]

The Saudi-led coalition battling Houthi rebels in Yemen launched an airstrike on the main airport in the rebel-held capital Sanaa on Wednesday.

The military alliance confirmed the move, claiming the air raid destroyed a drone in the Yemeni capital which it said was “in the process of preparing to be launched, thwarting an imminent terrorist attack,” a statement carried by the state-run Al-Ekhbariya news channel said.

The coalition said that the Houthis are using the airport "as a military camp in violation of international humanitarian law”.

It is the first airstrike since peace talks last week in Sweden resulted in a ceasefire accord for the battleground port city of Hodeida.

Earlier on Wednesday, Yemen’s warring factions have traded accusations over a ceasefire breach in Hodeida, after reports confirmed clashes in the crucial Red Sea port city.

Houthi-run al-Masirah TV blamed the Saudi-led coalition for violating the truce which was mediated by the United Nations as part of crucial peace talks in Sweden.

The Houthi rebels said Saudi-led coalition shelling hit several sites in Hodeida, including some east of the airport, while pro-government sources said the rebels fired mortar bombs and rockets at the May 22 hospital in the eastern suburbs, according to the United Arab Emirates news agency WAM.

Residents in Yemen's main port city reported hearing four blasts on Tuesday - the first day of a UN-brokered ceasefire between the rebels and Saudi-backed government forces.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned on Sunday that "much worse" lay in store for Yemen in 2019 unless the peace deal is implemented.

The Sweden talks marked the first attempt in two years to broker an end to the Yemen conflict, which has killed more than 10,000 people - though rights groups say the actual figure is five times higher.

Yemen's government and the Houthi rebels have agreed to meet again in late January for more talks to define the framework for negotiations on a comprehensive peace settlement.

Some 14 million people are at imminent risk of starvation in Yemen, according to UN estimates.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab