Closure of Sana’a airport claimed lives of 80,000 Yemenis: Transportation Ministry

Yemen says the years-long crippling siege imposed by the Saudi-led military coalition on the Sana’a International Airport has led to the death of some 80,000 people in the impoverished country.

In a press conference on Monday, Yemen’s Ministry of Transportation and its affiliated bodies and institutions announced the shocking news, adding that more than 450,000 difficult-to-treat patients are also in desperate need of receiving due treatment, abroad but the persisting blockade on the airport prolongs their suffering.

The ministry, according to a report by Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, further said coalition warplanes had destroyed over 1,083 trucks and tanker trucks, 4,490 roads and bridges, and more than 7,229 vehicles over the past six years.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and its other regional allies, launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Yemen’s former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.

An all-out blockade was also imposed on Yemen since the onset of the bloody war, pushing Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, including by hampering access to aid.

The tight siege, among others, led to the closure of the Sana’a International Airport, the largest and most important airport in Yemen, and closed the Hudaydah port, which acts as a lifeline for the impoverished nation.

The Saudi-led military aggression has left tens of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions of people. It also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the country.

Elsewhere in its statement, the Yemeni ministry said the Saudi-led coalition’s blockade has led to the acute shortage of at least 120 kinds of medicine, which were previously imported via the airport.

Citing official figures, it added that one patient out of ten loses their life on the way to other airports across the country, including those in Sana’a and Aden.

Yemen’s Ministry of Transportation further said the damage to the civilian aviation and meteorological sector inflicted by relentless airstrikes was estimated at more than five billion dollars.

It also said 80 percent of activities in Yemeni ports were halted because of the airstrikes, stressing that Yemen’s maritime sector has been under the most brutal attacks during the war.

The ministry also estimated the damage caused by direct attacks on port infrastructure and equipment at over $2 billion. The Land Transport Authority, it said, had suffered more than $208 million in damage.

A recently released report has estimated the number of air raids on Yemen throughout the war to be at least 22,766, with up to 65,982 individual airstrikes that have killed 8,759 civilians and injured 9,815 others.

The report, published on Thursday by the Yemen Data Project, said on average, 1,459 civilians had been killed every year since 2015, while 2,336 children were among the dead.

More than a quarter of civilian fatalities were children, according to the report, which pointed out that the war has been backed by the US, Britain, and France.

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