Dec 12, 2018 17:50 UTC
  • Ansarullah, Saudi-backed groups agree to reopen Sana'a airport as talks continue

Yemen's warring parties have reportedly agreed to reopen the airport in the capital Sana'a, which was shuttered last year after numerous attacks by Saudi Arabia.

The Ansarullah movement and the country’s former Saudi-backed regime agreed Wednesday to resume domestic flights in the airport, sources familiar with ongoing UN-led peace talks in Sweden stated.

International flights would stop at one of the two government-held airports in Aden or Sayun for inspections before flying in or out of Sana'a.

Saudi Arabia had attacked the airport November last year, damaging its ground navigation tower and parts of its runway.

The international airport is in Houthi territory but has been rendered useless by an aerial blockade imposed by the Saudi-led military coalition, which has been pounding Yemen since March 2015.

According to new figures released by The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), some 60,223 people had been killed in Yemen between January 2016 and the end of November 2018. The independent research group said that nearly half of those fatalities happened this year alone.

Saudi-led attacks have destroyed most of Yemen's infrastructure, leaving millions of Yemenis in dire need of food and medicines. Thousands of Yemenis have also lost their lives due to outbreaks of cholera and other deadly diseases.

The UN food agency said earlier this month that more than 15 million people in Yemen were in food “crisis” or “emergency,” warning that the number could increase to 20 million without sustained food aid.