Saudi Regime Prevents UN Plane from Flying to Yemen


The Saudi-led coalition, whose invasion of Yemen has led to a human tragedy in the Arabian Peninsula country, blocked a UN flight carrying aid agency staff and journalists from traveling to crisis-hit Yemen, local media reports said.

On Tuesday, the Riyadh regime prevented the UN flight from taking off from Djibouti to the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, which is currently under the control of Houthi Ansarullah movement, informed sources said, according to local media outlets.

The presence of three journalists working for British state-run broadcaster BBC was the Saudi regime’s pretext to block the flight, according to the sources.

“The coalition claimed that the security of the journalists could not be guaranteed in Houthi-controlled areas, and advised the three journalists to travel on commercial flights,” Ahmed Ben Lassoued, a spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Yemen, said on Tuesday.

“It’s unfortunate and partially explains why Yemen, which is one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises, is not getting enough attention in international media,” he added.

“The lack of coverage is also hindering humanitarians’ effort to draw the attention of the international community and donors to the humanitarian catastrophe the country is experiencing.” Ben Lassoued said.

Yemen’s defenseless people have been under massive attacks by the coalition for more than two years but Riyadh has reached none of its objectives in Yemen so far.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Over 12,000 Yemenis, including thousands of women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.