On December 21, the Yemeni Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (CAMA) announced that Sanaa International Airport, which is held by the Houthis (Ansar Allah), was placed out of service as a result of recent airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition.
The coalition carried out intensive airstrikes on the airport, which is mainly used by the UN to ship humanitarian aid to Houthi-held areas in Yemen, on December 20.
In an attempt to justify the airstrikes, Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Malki, a spokesman for the coalition, said in statement that the Houthis had been using the airport to launch attacks with ballistic missiles and suicide drones at civilians and civilian properties in Yemen and neighboring countries.
The spokesman claimed that the airstrikes were carried out in a way meant to keep the airport in service. Nevertheless, this was not the case.
CAMA Director Rayid Jabal called on the UN to take decisive action against the coalition’s repeated airstrikes on Sanaa International Airport.
“The Saudi-led coalition of aggression aims, through these airstrikes, to impede humanitarian aid provided to the Yemeni people and obstruct the flights of the UN and international organizations operating in Yemen,” Jabal said in a statement.
Instead of halting its airstrikes on Sana International Airport, the Saudi-led coalition responded to the CAMA by offering to ship humanitarian aid to Houthi-held areas through Saudi airports and airports held by Saudi-backed forces in Yemen.
Despite the Saudi-led coalition’s recent airstrikes on Sanaa International Airport, the Houthis continue to launch attacks with ballistic missiles and suicide drones on Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen. On December 19, three suicide drones attacked targets in the southern Saudi province of ‘Asir.
The coalition real aim may be indeed to restrict humanitarian aid to Houthi-held areas, possibly to pressure the group’s leadership.