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Red Cross ‘evacuates staff’ from Sanaa

Central command had set up a panel earlier this week dedicated to facilitating humanitarian aid into Yemen and evacuation

Published: Updated:

A Red Cross plane was used to evacuate a number of the organization’s staff from Sanaa on Monday, in coordination with the central command of the Saudi-led anti-Houthi campaign in Yemen, a spokesman for the coalition said.

Operation Decisive Storm central command had scheduled two planes to head to Yemen on Sunday, but Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri - spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Defense - said the organization sent no one.

Central command had set up a panel earlier this week dedicated to facilitating humanitarian aid into Yemen and evacuation out of the embattled country.

Meanwhile in the military operation coalition warplanes continued on Monday their support for Aden’s local armed groups in their fight against Houthi militias, Asiri said.

Houthis, along with militias loyal to deposed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, are attempting to advance into the southern city, a stronghold of the country’s legitimate government.

Tribes surrounding Aden made their way to the city to help local armed groups against the remaining Houthi cells, he told reporters adding that central command continues to offer logistical support and intelligence to the local resistance.

Separately, the ongoing aerial campaign does not seek to destroy the country’s infrastructure Asiri said, explaining that strikes have targeted routes used by the Houthis and militias loyal to Saleh.

Commenting on Al Qaeda’s activity in the embattled country, Asiri said the Houthis and Saleh’s militias have weakened the Yemeni state, giving the Islamist militant group an advantage.

Meanwhile, sources on the ground told Al Arabiya News Channel that Houthi “snipers” in Aden were stationing themselves on rooftops to target civilians and the Popular Resistance fighters.

Amid fighting on the ground, the Saudi-led airstrikes targeted Houthi bases in Aden as the aerial bombardment of the militias throughout Yemen is still underway, the Saudi spokesperson for the military operation said on Sunday.

The Houthis and Saleh-allied militias seized power in the capital Sanaa in February and last month advanced on the port city of Aden, Hadi’s stronghold, forcing him to go into exile and prompting the Saudi-led airstrikes against the rebels.