The Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen said they were imposing severe restrictions starting Saturday on UN and other humanitarian flights arriving in the capital, Sanaa.
The Houthi-run Civil Aviation Authority said no humanitarian flights would land in Sanaa between March 25-30. It said in a statement they would allow such flights in Sanaa only on Fridays.
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The Houthis said their decision was in response to an alleged barring of commercial flights to and from the Yemeni capital, and a ban of booking flights from Sanaa.
The United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Sanaa International Airport was partly reopened for commercial fights last year as part of a UN-brokered cease-fire deal between Yemen’s warring parties. The cease-fire expired in October when the two sides failed to reach a compromise to renew the truce.
The Houthi move comes amid an escalation in fighting in the central province of Marib, where the Houthis in recent days attacked government-held areas.
The Houthi restrictions on humanitarian flights is likely to exaggerate the suffering of Yemenis in Houthi-held areas, including the capital.
Yemen’s conflict has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. More than 21 million people in Yemen, or two-thirds of the country’s population, need help and protection, according to the UN.
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