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ANALYSIS: How Houthi militias turned Sanaa Airport into weapons facility

Published: Updated:

Since Sanaa International Airport came under the control of the Houthi militias after a 2014 coup, the security of that vital facility has been deteriorating.

There are enough evidence that shows the inability of the Houthi militias to secure the airport. In fact, their presence itself is a major factor in the deteriorating of the security there.

After taking control of the airport, the militias dismissed most civil employees in the security and administrative departments instead, appointed Houthi militants with little to no aviation experience.

The so-called “political council” of the militias rejected the proposal of the Arab coalition to hand over the administration of Sanaa airport to the UN.

The spokesman of the forces of the Coalition for the restoration of legitimacy in Yemen, Colonel Turki al-Maliki, called on the United Nations, to contribute in resuming commercial and passengers flights to Sanaa airport, by managing the airport security and to address the legitimate concerns of the Yemeni government.

Houthis have turned the airport into a headquarters for receiving weapon consignments on Iranian planes, and for storing these weapons in buildings inside it.

The rebels did not hesitate to target the Marib Governorate and legitimate government locations in the Nahm directorate northeast of Sanaa, after they turned the facilities there to position ballistic missile launchers, which led to the reluctance of civil and commercial flights to use Sanaa airport.

Even the UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, was not immune to this security threat and chaos. After arriving at the airport last May, he was the target of an assassination attempt by armed Houthi elements targeting his motorcade.

It is after considering all these aspects, the Arab Coalition had asked the United Nations to take over the airport and manage its security, after considering all these aspects.

Following this, the Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Makhlafi made a statement stressing that the problem at Sanaa airport was due to the fact that it was under the control of the militias. He added that airports around the world would not receive planes from an airport operated by an illegal authority.