Yemeni local sources reported that explosions occurred at the headquarters of the “First Division-Armored” camp in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, which is under the control of the Houthis, and the Saudi-Emirati coalition denied responsibility for it.
The same sources added that plumes of smoke rose from the place after the explosions, the cause of which is unknown, while ambulances and a fire engine were seen heading to the place. Read also Yemen..The Houthis refuse to link the humanitarian file to military or political issues and battles in Al-Jawf and Marib Intense movement on Yemen .. The Houthis welcome the discussion of the peace process and the humanitarian situation, and the Yemeni Foreign Minister visits Muscat An Omani delegation in Sana’a .. Is there a new horizon for a political solution in Yemen?
The Saudi TV said that the news of the coalition targeting the First Armored Division in Sana’a is incorrect, adding that the coalition did not carry out any military operations in the vicinity of Sana’a or any other city during the last period.
The Saudi Al-Ekhbariya channel quoted the coalition as saying that not carrying out any military operations aims to create a political atmosphere for the peaceful path in Yemen.
Preparations for reopening Sana’a airport
In a related context, the Director General of Sana’a International Airport, Khaled Al-Shayef, said that he met at the airport the acting Chairman of the Board of Directors of Yemeni Airways and a number of the company’s employees to discuss the readiness of facilities, equipment and maintenance headquarters for aircraft.
Two sources in the aviation sector said that the administration of the Houthis, who control most of northern Yemen, has begun renovation work at Sanaa airport in preparation for the possibility of reopening it as part of a peace effort led by the United Nations.
The Saudi-led coalition has controlled Yemeni airspace since 2015, when it intervened to fight the Iran-aligned Houthis after they forced the internationally recognized Yemeni government out of the capital, Sanaa.
A spokesman for the coalition did not yet respond to a request for comment about agreeing to reopen airspace and allow the airport to resume regular operations.
The two sources told Reuters that construction work has begun in some parts of the airport, which has been closed since 2015, except for receiving United Nations planes.
The United Nations and the United States have called for lifting restrictions on Houthi-controlled ports and Sanaa airport to ease the raging humanitarian crisis in the country, and are also pressing the Houthis to agree to a nationwide ceasefire.
Riyadh and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government link lifting the blockade to reaching a truce agreement, a condition the Houthis reject.
Oman – a key regional supporter of peace efforts in Yemen – this week sent a delegation to Sanaa to pressure Houthi officials to reach a peace agreement.
Al-Houthi: Opening Sanaa Airport and Hodeidah Port is a humanitarian entitlement
On the other hand, the Houthi group in Yemen welcomed all sincere efforts aimed at alleviating the suffering of the Yemeni people by lifting the siege and opening airports and ports without restrictions.
The head of the Supreme Political Council, Mahdi al-Mashat, said – in a meeting held in the capital, Sanaa, which is under their control yesterday – “The opening of Sana’a airport and the port of Hodeidah is a simple humanitarian entitlement that is not considered a blessing from anyone, but rather a gain from the stability gains of the Yemeni people and the heroism of the army and people’s committees ( belonging to the group).
Al-Mashat praised the efforts of the Sultanate of Oman and the delegation of the Royal Office, which is discussing in Sana’a a number of issues related to the humanitarian file.
The Houthi official stressed 3 principles that “cannot be deviated from in any future discussions, namely lifting the siege, stopping the aggression (coalition operations), air, land and sea, ending the occupation and the exit of foreign forces, and non-interference in Yemen’s internal affairs.”
This statement coincides with the intensive international and international efforts to end the war that the country has been witnessing for seven years, through political negotiations.
On the other hand, the Yemeni government and the Houthi group conducted a prisoner exchange today, during which 16 prisoners were released, 8 from each side, according to a Yemeni military.
In a statement to Anadolu Agency, Colonel Yahya Al-Hasir – head of the prisoners and detainees committee in the sixth military region (in the north of the country) – said that 8 prisoners from the Yemeni army were liberated, compared to 8 from the Houthi group.
Al-Hasir explained that the prisoner exchange took place near the churches area in Al-Jawf Governorate (north), and the Houthis have not yet issued a statement regarding the exchange process.
The two parties have previously carried out several prisoner exchange deals, with local and international efforts. The two sides, in UN-sponsored consultations in Sweden in 2018, presented lists of more than 15,000 prisoners, detainees and abductees.
For the seventh year in a row, Yemen is witnessing an armed conflict between the Yemeni army, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, on the one hand, and the Houthi militia, accused of receiving support from Iran, on the other, causing large numbers of deaths and injuries, as well as dragging the country towards the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.