Yemen Says Saudi-Led Coalition to Allow Commercial Flights

Hunger Crisis in Yemen 2017

The bloc closed all of Yemen's main air and sea ports on Monday, a move it said was aimed at stopping the flow of arms to Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Warplanes continued to circle in the skies above Sanaa after the strikes, the witnesses added.

The United Nations had warned the total blockade could cause starvation in the impoverished country where war has killed at least 10,000 people in the last 2-1/2 years and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) expressed more concerns on Sunday.

"The battleships and oil tankers of the aggression and their movements will not be safe from the fire of Yemeni naval forces if they are directed by the senior leadership [to attack]", the Houthis' official media outlet Al Masirah said on its website, citing a military commander.

Saudi Arabia fears that the rebels will give its Shi'Ite rival Iran a foothold in the Arabian Peninsula.

This comes as Saudi Arabia recently intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen near the capital, Riyadh.

On Thursday, the Houthis rejected the USA allegations, saying they built the missile themselves and fired it in response to coalition bombings that have killed civilians and the ongoing blockade.

Al-Hamini further pointed to the brutal attacks by the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen's defenseless people and said that Yemenis believe that "firing missile at the aggressors is their right".

The Houthis control most of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

According to the United Nations, from March 2015 to March 2017, 16,200 people have been killed in Yemen, including 10,000 civilians.

Since then, more than 10,000 people have been killed and at least 40,000 wounded, mostly from Saudi-led air strikes.

More than 2,000 Yemenis have died in a cholera outbreak now affecting almost one million people.

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