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Yemen: Houthi rebels allow aid flights into Sanaa to resume

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Yemen's Houthi rebels say have allowed the UN and aid agencies to resume flights to Sanaa airport.

"The civil aviation authority announces the resumption of UN and other organisation flights into Sanaa airport on a temporary basis," rebel-run Al-Masirah television channel reported. Houthi officials also told western outlets off the record that flights resumed on Monday evening.ah ok

The rebel group suspended flights following Saudi-led coalition air strikes over a week ago.

Saudi-led air strike hit Sanaa airport

The Saudi-led coalition carried out airstrikes which targeted Sanaa International Airport according to Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya.

The coalition said the "strikes" targeted "legitimate military targets" in the airport, and claimed that the airport's facilities were used to launch cross-border attacks.

According to a source from the pro-Iranian Houthi government who spoke to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, UN and aid agency flights had resumed on Monday evening. Dpa quoted him as saying "the airport was severely damaged by the coalition's bombing."

The airport is a crucial lifeline for the people of the war-ravaged country.

According to the UN, around 80% of Yemen's population, or 24 million people, are in need of some form of humanitarian aid.

The United Nations' food agency, the World Food Program, announced last week that it was "running out of funds" to provide assistance to the people of Yemen, and would have to severely reduce rations.

Concern for UN staffers

The UN has meanwhile expressed its concern over the well-being of two staff members who have been held by Houthi rebels since November.

Yemen, Dec 29: "The UN has not received information about the grounds or legal basis for their detention, or their current status," UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a joint statement.

The group has not commented on the detentions.

Yemen: Houthi rebels allow aid flights into Sanaa to resume

The conflict in Yemen started in 2014 when the Houthis, backed by Iran, took control of Sanaa and much of northern Yemen.

Several months after the Houthis took Sanaa, the Saudi-led military coalition, backed by the US, attempted to oust the Houthis and reinstate the internationally-recognized government.

Since then, a war of attrition has continued unabated, with Yemen witnessing what the UN has described as the world's biggest humanitarian crisis.

Source: DW

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