Middle East

First commercial flight leaves Yemen’s Sanaa to Amman

Sanaa Airport closed to commercial flights since 2016

First commercial flight leaves Yemen’s Sanaa to Amman File Photo

SANAA, Yemen

The first commercial flight in six years left Houthi-held Sanaa Airport on Monday to the Jordanian capital, Amman.

An airport source said 130 passengers were aboard the plane of flag carrier Yemenia, mostly patients seeking medical treatment in Jordan.

“This is the first commercial flight to take off from Sanaa Airport in six years,” the source told Anadolu Agency.

On Thursday, the Yemeni government said it agreed to commercial flights from Sanaa with passports issued by Houthi authorities.

Last month, Yemen’s warring rivals accepted a UN-brokered two month truce under which all military operations were halted.

The terms of the truce included the resumption of commercial flights from the rebel-held Sanaa Airport and the reopening of roads in the central city of Taiz, which were closed by the rebels for years.

The Sanaa Airport was closed to commercial flights since 2016 by the Saudi-led coalition, which accuses the rebels of using the airport for military purposes, an accusation denied by the Houthis.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014 when Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The Saudi-led coalition entered the war in early 2015 to restore the Yemeni government to power.

The 8-year conflict has created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with millions suffering from hunger.

* Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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