SANAA, Yemen

Yemen’s rebel Houthi group has announced that Sana’a International Airport was closed to the UN and humanitarian flights due to a fuel shortage, according to local media.

The airport will not provide flight services to aircraft belonging to UN and humanitarian aid organizations due to the depletion of essential, precautionary and emergency oil, the official Saba news agency quoted Raid Talib Jabal, an official from Civil Aviation and Meteorology Institution.

Jabal said the fuel crisis at the airport was caused by the Saudi Arabian-led coalition forces blocking the entry of petroleum products into al-Hudaydah Port for two months.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sana’a. The crisis escalated in 2015 when the Saudi-led military coalition against the rebels launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, which has led to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises as millions remain at risk of starvation.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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