Saudi Arabian jets have bombarded the runway of Yemen’s Sana’a airport to prevent planned aid flights from landing.
Iran’s state news agency IRNA was quoted by the Guardian as saying that the Saudi jets tried to force the aid flights to turn back, a warning that was ignored by the pilots which eventually led to the bombing of the runway.
The jet that belonged to the Red Crescent was said to be carrying food and medical aid to Sana’a. The aircraft apparently received nod to use the route from Oman.
While the attack did not lead to any casualty, an aircraft operated by Felix Airways parked on the runway caught fire. Another cargo plane was also hit during the bombing.
The Peninsular quoted Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri as saying that due to the bombing, the runway is now unusable for planned aid flights.
Saudi Arabia had recently declared Yemen’s airspace and coastline off limits to stop the delivery of arms to the Houthis.
ABC News reported that around 20 sorties attacked the airport that destroyed both the take-off and landing runways, with all the aid flights to now use the airport at Hodeidah till the Sana’a airport gets back on its feet.
Saudi Arabia had extended its help to Yemen and its current government in March 2015 after rebels bombed the Sana’a airport.
Yemen has been entangled in a political conflict between two opposing groups, one of which supports the current president Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and another that supports the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who is allied with the Houthis.