- At least 27 people killed in rocket attack that Yemeni information minister attributed to Iran-backed Houthis
- Saudi Arabia strongly condemns “treacherous” act
LONDON: A rocket and gunfire attack on Aden airport in Yemen, targeting the country’s newly formed government and claiming dozens of lives, has drawn global condemnation from political, diplomatic and non-governmental figures.
Saudi Arabia strongly condemned the “treacherous” act, saying that it targeted not only the new government, but the Yemeni people also, according to a statement carried on Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
It also said the Kingdom stood by the Yemeni people and its aspirations for peace, stability and security.
The US also condemned the incident, saying the attack once again demonstrates “the malicious intent of those trying to destabilize” the country and that such attacks will not undermine the effort to find a lasting peace for Yemenis. The State Department statement added the US supports the legitimate government.
Both the Emir of Kuwait and the secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also condemed the attack, while Emirati minister Anwar Gargash said the attack on the airport was an attack on the Riyadh Agreement and “prospects for peace and stability in Yemen.”
“I condemn the cowardly attack on Aden Airport timed to coincide with the arrival of the new government,” tweeted Michael Aron, Britain’s ambassador to Yemen.
He called it “a despicable attempt to cause carnage & chaos & bring suffering when Yemenis had chosen to move forward together. My thoughts are with the families of those killed & injured.”
Nick Dyer, the UK’s special envoy for famine prevention and humanitarian affairs, tweeted that he “fully supports” Aron’s statement, and that “those against peace will just prolong the suffering of millions in #Yemen.”
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said she “strongly” condemns “the heinous attack.”
Yemeni ministers were returning to Aden after being sworn in last week as part of a reshuffle following a deal with some of the country’s opposition forces.
The attack, which Yemen’s information minister has attributed to the Iran-backed Houthis, appeared to be aimed at violently disrupting the country’s fledgling peace process.
Linde implored parties to not allow the attackers to disrupt the peace process, saying: “We cannot let this deplorable act derail efforts for peace.”
Martin Griffiths, UN special envoy for Yemen, called the attack an “unacceptable act of violence,” tweeting: “I strongly condemn the attack at #Aden airport upon the Cabinet’s arrival and the killing and injury of many innocent civilians. My sincere condolences and solidarity to all who lost loved ones.”
He added: “I wish the Cabinet strength in facing the difficult tasks ahead. This unacceptable act of violence is a tragic reminder of the importance of bringing #Yemen urgently back on the path towards peace.”
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), took to Twitter to express his outrage at the attack, writing in Turkish that his condolences are with the people of Yemen.
A number of humanitarian NGOs have been affected directly or indirectly by the attack. ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross/Crescent) confirmed on Twitter that one of their staff was killed in the attack, two were injured and that another three remain unaccounted for. “This is a tragic day for us and the people of #Yemen,” the group said on Twitter.
Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) Yemen operation said it is preparing to implement a “mass casualty medical response plan” to cope with the attack.
Save the Children, which works extensively in Yemen, tweeted: “We strongly condemn the attack today in #Aden int airport #Yemen. According to authorities more than a dozen have lost their lives & many more are injured.”
It added: “We call on all parties to the conflict to bring an end to the fighting, killing & civilian infrastructure destruction.”
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