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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 26 January 2021

Yemen: UN envoy in Aden as officials warn against Iran's interference

Attacks on Aden's airport last month killed at least 26 people

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths (C) arrives at Aden Airport, Aden, Yemen, 07 January 2021. EPA
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths (C) arrives at Aden Airport, Aden, Yemen, 07 January 2021. EPA

UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, arrived in Aden on Thursday following last week’s devastating attack on its airport as President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi warned against Iranian interference.

Attacks on the southern port city of Aden on December 30 killed at least 26 people as government officials arrived at the airport from Saudi Arabia.

“The Governor of Aden, Ahmed Lamlas, briefed Mr Griffiths and his accompanying delegation on last week's horrific attack in Aden international airport that resulted in dozens of civilian deaths and injuries,” Mr Griffith's office said in a statement.

Government officials said the attack involved three precision-guided missiles that were launched by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels that wounded more than 100 people.

The rebels denied responsibility.

The attacks occurred as Yemen's unity government arrived at the airport.

Mr Hadi inaugurated the Cabinet in December as part of a Saudi-brokered agreement to end a political rift between the government and the Southern Transitional Council, which advocates secession for southern Yemen.

The two sides are allies against the Houthis, who have controlled much of northern Yemen since 2015.

Mr Hadi warned of Iran’s “blatant” interference in the country and told the UN envoy that Tehran had assisted the rebels in conducting the deadly attack on the airport, as well attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea.

“They are undermining peace efforts,” he said, according to the state news agency.

Mr Hadi also referred to the fact that Iran sent an ambassador to the Houthi-held capital of Sanaa, which is a “violation of diplomatic and international laws and portrays Iran’s support towards the rebels.”

Meanwhile, Houthi rebels killed six civilians and injured seven others during several attacks on civilian houses in Taiz, state news agency said on Wednesday.

Out of those killed were four children and two women.

“We strongly condemn the brutal attack of Iran-backed Houthi militia against Al Haima in Al Taiziyah District of Taiz, and the bombing of citizens' homes and farms with heavy and medium weapons, left number of dead and wounded among women and children,” Yemen’s Minister of Information, Muammar Al Eryani said on Twitter.

Mr Griffiths stopped in Riyadh before landing in Yemen, to meet with the Yemeni President and other government officials to discuss a UN-brokered plan to push forward the peace process.

Mr Griffiths recently proposed an agreement between the government and rebels to resume political talks.

Updated: January 8, 2021 06:24 PM

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