Arab Coalition: ICRC plane veered off course over Yemen

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A Red Cross plane which was flying to Djibouti changed its direction after taking off from Yemen’s Sanaa, the Arab Coalition backing Yemen's legitimate government said on Tuesday.

Colonel Turki al-Maliki, the coalition spokesman, said that the crew responsible on the flight veered off course, towards a military operation area, adding that the coalition tried to contact the aircraft on the international distress frequency, but the crew did not respond.

He added that upon this a guidance order was issued to divert the plane from the military operating area, but to no avail, consequently forcing the plane to land at King Abdullah regional airport in Jizan in Saudi Arabia.

The spokesman said that the decision was taken to guarantee the safety of air space, the crew and humanitarian staffers on the flight.

Maliki added that the plane violated the rules and jeopardized the safety of the four passengers on board.

The ICRC later said that the plane headed from Sanaa to Djibouti had made “an unscheduled stop” in Jizan “due to technical issues.”

“The issue was resolved and the plane has landed in Djibouti this evening,” it said in a statement, adding that the ICRC was still investigating the incident.

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