Four UAE soldiers killed as coalition helicopter crashes in Yemen

Frederick Owens
August 13, 2017

The UN has indicated is not responsible for controlling Yemen's main airport, dismissing a call by a Saudi-led military coalition for the world body to do so. The request was issued after several aid groups' call to have the airport reopened, stating that a year-long blockade was impeding humanitarian aid delivery and preventing travel of thousands of patients seeking treatment overseas.

The Saudi-led coalition supporting the Yemeni government against rebels had initially played down Friday evening's incident, saying that the pilot had been forced to make an emergency landing "resulting in minor injuries to the crew".

It said the airport remained closed "due to concerns for the safety of civilian travel and commercial flights, as well as the smuggling of weapons by the Houthis".

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, seen by the United States as the network's most unsafe branch, has exploited years of conflict between the government and the rebels to expand its presence in Yemen, particularly in southern provinces. He called on the warring parties to allow humanitarian aid access and reopen the airport.

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According to Yemen's official Saba news agency, the chopper crashed in the Amqeel area of Ar Rawdah district in the south-central Yemeni province of Shabwah on Friday afternoon.

Residents of Shabwa province said another five injured soldiers were taken to hospital in Mukalla in the neighbouring province of Hadramawt.

Yemen has been locked in a power struggle between Saudi-backed President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi and the Iran-allied Houthi rebels since 2014.

The coalition last month banned a United Nations flight carrying humanitarian aid workers and journalists from taking off from Djibouti to Sanaa.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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