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The New Arab

Yemen's Aden airport to resume daily commercial flights

Aden International Airport has been closed for two months due to security threats [AFP]

Date of publication: 5 June, 2016

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A sign of normality will return to Yemen's southern port city of Aden next week, as its airport prepares for the resumption of daily commercial flights after months of closure.
Aden International Airport will officially resume "non-stop daily activities" next week, after months of closure.

Yemen's transport minister announced on Saturday that the airport will return back to normal in the coming days, a sign that normality is returning to the port city wracked by fighting and instability.

Transport Minister Mourad al-Halemi said that the resumption of flights would be permanent and hopes there will be no more suspensions, according to Yemen's official news agency.

The minister also called on security authorities in Aden to double their efforts to secure the airport and its vicinity.

The southern city has seen a growing presence from some extremist-inspired militias and while al-Qaeda fighters operate nearby.

His statement came after the Yemeni government re-opened the airport on Saturday for a partial resumption of flights, following two months of closure due to security threats.

On 25 April, the airport was hit by missiles from an unidentified source, targeting the runway only a few hours before its planned re-opening and receiving the first commercial flight since its closure.

Houthi rebels took control of the airport - once a Royal Air Force base - in March 2015 when they descended on the southern coastal city.

Clashes ensued for several months between government forces, local southern seperatist militias, and loyalists of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The rebels were forced out in July last year by pro-government militias and Gulf forces.

Aden remains a stronghold of the internationally-government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and has been a launchpad for offensives further north. However, the city is also thought to be run by myriad of militias, some with alleged extremist links.

The Saudi-led coalition launched a massive bombing campaign of Houthi rebels in March last year to support the internationally-recognised government.

The rebels took over the capital Sanaa in September 2014, forcing Hadi's government to flee south, and then abroad.

Fighting has killed more than 6,400 people, displaced about 2.8 million and left 82 percent of Yemen's population in need of aid, the United Nations has said.

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