Conjoined Yemeni twins die due to Saudi blockade
Conjoined twin boys born in Yemen, who were in urgent need of medical treatment abroad, have died because of a Saudi blockade preventing air travel to and from the country.
According to Press TV, Yemen’s Health Ministry said doctors treating two-week-old twins Abd al-Khaleq and Abd al-Rahim in the capital, Sana’a, had announced the boys’ death overnight on Saturday.
The twins, who had been born outside Sana’a, shared a kidney and a pair of legs, but had separate hearts and lungs.
Doctors said the babies could not survive in the war-ravaged Yemen and needed to be taken abroad for emergency treatment. However, the airport in Sana’a has been closed to flights by a Saudi-led coalition that has been waging war on Yemen since March 2015.
In a statement carried by Yemen’s Saba news, the Health Ministry said the deaths of the twins reflected the dire health and humanitarian situation in Yemen.
Re-opening the Sana’a airport is a key issue on the agenda at the United Nations-led peace talks for Yemen that began in Stockholm in December last year.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen to reinstall a former regime that had been allied to Riyadh. Yemen’s Ansarullah Movement, which has been running state affairs in Sana’a since shortly after the former regime resigned and its officials fled, has been defending the country against the Saudi-led aggression.
The war has destroyed much of Yemen’s infrastructure and led to a famine and epidemics in the impoverished country.