Yemen’s rebel government on Tuesday announced the country’s main international airport was fully functional again, one week after a Saudi-led air strike destroyed the facility’s navigation system.
Zakaria al-Shami, transport minister in the unofficial rebel government, said the navigation system at Sanaa International Airport was up and running again after emergency teams had put in place “technical alternatives and special solutions”, according to the rebel Saba news agency.
The minister said the airport was now ready to accommodate all flights, according to the agency. Allied with Yemeni strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Iran-backed Huthi rebels control the capital Sanaa along with much of northern Yemen. In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the Yemeni government’s fight against the rebels. More than 8,650 people have since been killed.
The country also faces a deadly cholera epidemic and millions stand at the brink of official famine. On November 6, Saudi Arabia and its allies tightened a longstanding blockade of Yemen’s land, sea and air borders in response to a missile fired into Saudi territory by the Huthi rebels.
The Saudi-led alliance last week bombed Sanaa airport, which had been open to only select humanitarian flights amid Yemen’s war, in retaliation against a missile launched by the Huthis into Saudi territory. Saudi authorities said they had intercepted the missile before it could land at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.
Both parties in the Yemen conflict stand accused of neglecting civilian safety. The United Nations has blacklisted the Saudi-led coalition over the “killing and maiming” of children.