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Yemen’s Houthi rebels attack Saudi Abha airport

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Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they attacked the international Abha airport in the southwest of Saudi Arabia on Thursday, using bomb-laden drones, the group’s al-Masirah TV reported.

The attack targeted “military facilities in the airport,” the television said, citing a statement by a Houthi military spokesman.

There has been no confirmation from Saudi Arabia yet on the attack.

If confirmed, it would be the second attempted attack in fewer than 24 hours against Saudi Arabia after the kingdom’s air defences intercepted and destroyed a drone launched earlier on the day by Houthis toward King Khaled Air Base in the southwest of Saudi border city of Khamis Mushait.

Houthi rebels recently stepped up drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, but most of the drones were intercepted by the kingdom’s air forces.

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One killed, 21 injured in shelling in Yemeni port: MSF

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A child was killed and 21 others were wounded in shelling in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, the international aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Twitter late on Sunday.

It said the shelling targeted a public place crowded with families and playing children on Sunday afternoon.

It said that “22 wounded were received in the MSF supported Al Salakhana hospital due to shelling attacks in Al-Zuhur neighborhood in Hodeidah city…16 patients were children, one of them died.”

The aid agency condemned the attack but it did not identified the attacker. It called for “urgent measures to ensure that civilians are protected in the ongoing conflict.”

Al-Zuhur neighborhood is located in the center of the port city. Part of the port city is under the control of the Houthi rebels, while the government forces have advanced to the southern and eastern outskirts.

Hodeidah port city, a vital lifeline for millions facing starvation, has seen a shaky cease-fire between the warring parties since both sides reached a UN-sponsored truce agreement in Stockholm in December 2018.

Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the Saudi-backed government of President Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.

(XINHUA)

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People’s daily life in Sanaa, Yemen

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A man wearing a face mask walks at a market amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Sanaa, Yemen, on May 31, 2020. (Photo by Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua)

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Yemen’s gov’t reports 13 new COVID-19 cases, 323 in total

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Yemen’s Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed 13 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total tally of infections to 323 in the country’s provinces controlled by the government.

According to a brief statement released by the country’s supreme national emergency committee, “during the past 24 hours, the health departments officially registered 13 new COVID-19 cases in a number of provinces controlled by the government.”

Meanwhile, the death toll from the deadly respiratory disease climbed to 80 after three new deaths were recorded in the areas controlled by the Yemeni government.

The pro-government health authorities added that the number of recoveries has increased to 14 since the outbreak of coronavirus on April 10.

The Yemeni government has taken several measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, including imposing a partial overnight curfew in Aden and other major cities under its control.

The government called on donors and relevant international humanitarian organizations to provide support to help contain the pandemic.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa.

(XINHUA)

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UNICEF dispatches medical shipment to Yemen’s Sanaa to confront COVID-19

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Yemen’s health authorities controlled by the Houthi militia Sunday confirmed the arrival of a medical shipment dispatched by the UN Children‘s Fund (UNICEF) to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the war-ravaged country.

A UNICEF‘s plane loaded with essential medical supplies to respond to COVID-19 landed at Sanaa Airport on Saturday and our teams will supervise distribution to the hospitals,” one official of the Houthi-controlled Health Ministry in Sanaa told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

According to a brief statement released by the UN, “a UNICEF chartered plane landed at Sanaa airport on Saturday with lifesaving supplies to help curb the spread of the disease in the conflict-hit country.”

It said that the supplies are a range of medical assistance, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items such as aprons, boots, face masks and gloves for frontline health workers.

It added that the PPE items will help at least 1,600 health workers in primary health centres, hospitals and isolation units across Yemen to provide safe primary health care and nutrition services for a period of three months.

“These supplies will allow our courageous partners the health workers, who are working around the clock, to safely and more effectively address the spread of COVID-19,” said Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF Representative in Yemen.

The UN agency noted that the outbreak of COVID-19 has created an emergency within an emergency in Yemen where only half of health facilities are functional and with almost every child in Yemen (over 12 million in total) already in need of humanitarian assistance, including nearly half a million suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Yemen’s Health Ministry on Saturday confirmed 27 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total tally of infections to 310 with 77 deaths in the country’s provinces controlled by the government.

The government called on donors and relevant international humanitarian organizations to provide support to help contain the pandemic.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa.

(XINHUA)

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Yemen confirms 5 new COVID-19 cases, 283 in total

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Yemen’s Health Ministry on Friday confirmed five new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 283 in the country’s provinces controlled by the government.

According to a brief statement released by the country’s supreme national emergency committee, the death toll from the deadly respiratory disease climbed to 65 after eight new deaths were recorded in the areas controlled by the Yemeni government.

The pro-government health authorities added that the number of recoveries remained at 11 since the outbreak of coronavirus on April 10.

The Yemeni government has taken several measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, including imposing a partial overnight curfew in Aden and other major cities under its control.

The government called on donors and relevant international humanitarian organizations to provide support to help contain the pandemic.

Elsewhere in the country, health authorities in the Houthi rebel-held Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday announced the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in several provinces in northern Yemen.

“We confirm the disease is rife … there are so many COVID-19 cases in several provinces including the capital Sanaa,” the health authorities said in a statement.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa.

(XINHUA)

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Houthis announce spread of COVID-19 in northern Yemen

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Health authorities in the Houthi rebel-held Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday announced the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in several provinces in northern Yemen.

“We confirm the disease is rife … there are so many COVID-19 cases in several provinces including the capital Sanaa,” the health authorities said in a statement.

The authorities complained about inadequate testing capacity, ventilators and protective gears, blaming the UN aid agencies for not providing what they said “the required assistance to combat the coronavirus in Yemen.”

They added they would not order full lockdown in the cities under their control due to the stop of salary payment to thousands of state employees and millions of residents reliant on daily wage since the war erupted five years ago.

Meanwhile, the internationally-recognized government calls on donors and relevant international humanitarian organizations to provide support to help contain the pandemic in the country.

Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized much of the country’s north and forced the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa.

(XINHUA)

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Most UN humanitarian aid programs will have to end in Yemen: panel

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A key inter-agency panel on Thursday warned of the imminent closing of most UN aid programs in war-torn Yemen, the site of the world‘s worst humanitarian crisis.

In a joint statement, the principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), the highest humanitarian forum of UN and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), expressed alarm about the situation in Yemen, as COVID-19 is spreading rapidly amid unabated conflict and lack of funding for humanitarian programs.

The principals indicated that more than 30 of the 41 major UN programs in Yemen will have to close in the next few weeks.

“Tragically, we do not have enough money to continue this work. Of 41 major UN programs in Yemen, more than 30 will close in the next few weeks if we cannot secure additional funds. This means many more people will die,” said the statement.

The humanitarian community — UN agencies, international and national NGOs and others — are unanimous in its position that the world‘s largest aid operation cannot afford extended cuts during this unprecedented emergency, it said.

Aid agencies estimate that they will need up to 2.41 billion U.S. dollars to cover essential activities from June through December, including programs to counter COVID-19, said the statement.

The principals of the IASC called donors to pledge generously and pay pledges promptly.

The United Nations and Saudi Arabia will co-host a virtual pledging event on June 2. Donors have started to signal support, including a large pledge by Saudi Arabia and an announcement of life-line funding from the United States. But pledges remain far below what is required, and most still have not been paid. Pledges by themselves cannot save lives, said the statement.

More than five years of war have devastated Yemen’s health infrastructure, subjected Yemenis to repeated disease outbreaks and malnutrition, and substantially increased vulnerabilities.

Official COVID-19 case figures as of Thursday stand at 253 cases and 50 deaths. Further testing and analysis are required to provide a true picture of the epidemic and the case fatality rate in Yemen. But as in many other countries, testing kits in Yemen are in short supply, and official reports are lagging far behind actual infections, said the statement.

The IASC is chaired by UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock.

(XINHUA)

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Yemeni defense minister survives ballistic missile attack

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Yemen’s defense minister escaped a ballistic missile attack on his ministry’s headquarters in the central province of Marib late on Tuesday, local government security officials said.

The attack targeted a meeting attended by Defense Minister Mohammed al-Maqdashi and other military commanders in the Defense Ministry’s headquarters in Sahn al-Jin camp.

At least seven soldiers were killed and ten others hurt, they told Xinhua.

One of the security officials in Marib blamed the attack on the Houthi militia. However, the Houthis have made no comment yet.

Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.

The five-year war has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of famine.

(XINHUA)

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Yemeni gov’t reports 16 more COVID-19 cases

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The total number of COVID-19 cases in the Yemeni provinces controlled by the government increased to 249 after 16 new cases were confirmed on Tuesday.

The Yemeni Health Ministry said in a statement that five more deaths from the novel coronavirus were registered, bringing the death toll in the government-controlled provinces to 49.

It added that the number of recoveries from the respiratory disease rose to 10 since the outbreak of coronavirus on April 10.

The Yemeni government has taken measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, including imposing a partial overnight curfew in Aden and other major cities under its control.

The government called on donors and relevant international humanitarian organizations to provide support to help contain the pandemic.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of Sanaa.

(XINHUA)

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