Commercial Flight from Capital Yemen for the First Time in Six Years
For the first time in six years, another commercial plane departed from Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. This is seen as a major step forward in a peace process that has been difficult for years.
The flight to the Jordanian capital Amman carried 129 passengers, including hospital patients requiring care abroad and family members. The plane took off shortly after 9 a.m. local time.
The airport had been closed to commercial aviation since August 2016 due to airstrikes by the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition against Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The country has been on a ceasefire since April 2. The resumption of commercial aviation was part of the ceasefire agreement but was delayed by disagreements between the two sides.
The Houthis occupied Sanaa in 2014. A year later, Yemen’s government received help from a coalition led by Saudi Arabia. The military campaign against the rebels unleashed a civil war that has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The conflict has killed more than 150,000 people, according to the United Nations. In addition, millions of people have been displaced, and the population struggles with hunger and malnutrition.