Coalition preventing Red Cross from delivering aid to Yemen: spokeswoman

Published March 31st, 2015 - 02:14 GMT

Members of the Saudi-led coalition are preventing a plane carrying medical supplies from landing in Sanaa, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Red Cross in a statement called on the coalition to remove "obstacles to the delivery to Yemen of vital medical supplies needed to treat casualties from a week of deadly clashes and airstrikes," according to Reuters.

Spokeswoman Sitara Jabeen said the plane carrying enough medical aid to treat 700 to 1,000 wounded is still in Djibouti. The aircraft is scheduled to make a trip to an ICRC warehouse in Amman, Jordan, to load up on supplies before heading to Sanaa.

Jabeen told Reuters the agency is still waiting on permission from the coalition, while hospitals continue to remain low on crucial medial supplies. "So far efforts to negotiate the safe arrival of the plane have not been successful," the Red Cross statement said. 

The organization has, however, been able to send a surgical team to Aden, where the Red Cross said there have been the greatest number of casualties. The statement said the help is due to arrive shortly.

Conflict in the southern port city has escalated since Houthi rebels attacked the presidential palace, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee the country. The Saudi-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes targeting Iran-backed Shiite militants and defending the internationally recognized government for nearly a week.


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