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August 5, 2017

Coalition blames rebels for fuel shortage at Sanaa airport

Arab News

Riyadh, Aug 5: The coalition supporting legitimacy in Yemen is not responsible for the lack of fuel at Sanaa airport because the city is controlled by the Houthis and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said on Friday.

Al-Maliki was responding to media reports of the director of the UN Development Program in Yemen claiming that the coalition is hampering fuel supplies to UN humanitarian aircraft.

He said the coalition issues daily permits to allow the entry of fuel ships, basic materials and necessary supplies, as well as humanitarian and medical aid to all ports without exception, including Hodeidah, which is under Houthi control.

He added that the last authorization granted to the UN was on July 29, and included a permit to dispatch fuel convoys for aircraft from Aden to Sanaa airport.

The coalition can only grant ships entry to Yemeni ports that are not under rebel control, as entry is organized by a port’s controlling authority, Al-Maliki said.

The coalition does not target aid convoys or fuel tankers, and aid convoys are given special protection, he added.

The coalition is looking after seven ships carrying fuel that are authorized to enter Hodeidah port, but the Houthis are refusing to unload the cargo, Al-Maliki said.

This behavior confirms that the rebels are trying to hinder the arrival of basic and vital supplies, he added.

The rebels are using their control of some Yemeni ports to create a black market to raise more money for their military campaigns, in violation of international humanitarian law, he said.

Al-Maliki stressed the coalition’s keenness and efforts to meet the essential needs of the Yemeni people, and to deliver humanitarian aid to Yemeni ports, unlike the rebels.

Coalition blames rebels for fuel shortage at Sanaa airport

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