Yemen’s PM says airport attack aimed to ‘eliminate’ Cabinet


CAIRO (AP) — Yemen’s prime minister on Saturday stated {that a} missile attack on the airport in Aden was meant “to eliminate” the nation’s new authorities because it arrived in the important thing southern metropolis — a daring assault which he blamed on Iran-backed rebels.

Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed spoke to The Associated Press in an interview carried out at his workplace within the Mashiq Palace in Aden. It was the chief’s first interview with worldwide media after he survived Wednesday’s attack that killed at the least 25 folks and wounded 110 others.

“It’s a major terrorist attack that was meant to eliminate the government,” the premier stated. “It was a message against peace and stability in Yemen.”

Saeed repeated his authorities’s accusations that Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been accountable for the missile attack on the airport and a drone assault on the palace, shortly after the premier and his Cabinet have been transferred there.

The new Yemeni authorities was fashioned in December to finish a harmful political rift with southern separatists who’re backed by the United Arab Emirates. The inner rift threatened the UAE’s partnership with Saudi Arabia that’s preventing the Houthis in Yemen.

Saeed stated that the “techniques” used within the airport missile attack have been hallmarks of the Houthis’ technique.

Houthi officers have denied being behind the attack, however sought to blame unspecified teams within the Saudi-led coalition. The insurgent leaders haven’t provided any proof nor answered requests for remark.

The Houthis have carried out related assaults prior to now. In 2015, former Yemeni Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and members of his Cabinet survived a missile attack, blamed on the Houthis, that struck an Aden lodge utilized by the federal government. Last yr, the Houthis fired a missile at a navy parade of a militia loyal to the UAE at a base in Aden, killing dozens.

The attack passed off moments after a airplane carrying Saeed and his Cabinet members landed on the airport. AP footage from the scene at Aden’s airport confirmed members of the federal government delegation disembarking because the blast shook the tarmac, with many ministers dashing again contained in the airplane or operating down the steps, looking for shelter.

Saeed stated three precision-guided missiles had struck the power, focusing on his airplane, the arrival corridor and the VIP lounge of the airport.

“The guidance accuracy was great. The operation was huge,” he stated.

The prime minister stated Yemeni investigators have collected the stays of the missiles and that specialists from the Saudi-led coalition and the U.S. would assist decide the sort and origins of the missiles.

Saeed and his newly fashioned Cabinet have been returning to Yemen every week after they have been sworn in earlier than Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, the place the embattled chief resides.

The Cabinet reshuffle was a part of a power-sharing deal between the Saudi-backed Hadi and the secessionist Southern Transitional Council, an umbrella group of militias looking for to restore an unbiased southern Yemen, which existed from 1967 till unification in 1990.

Saeed, the prime minister, stated his authorities would prioritize “security and stability” in government-held areas after months of infighting between Hadi’s authorities and the STC.

“Whatever the challenges in Aden, the government remains,” he stated.

He additionally pointed to “huge” financial challenges as being the main target of his authorities.

The battle within the Arab world’s most impoverished nation started when the Houthis captured the capital of Sanaa in 2014, forcing Hadi’s authorities to flee.

The following yr, the Saudi-led coalition intervened in opposition to the Iran-backed rebels in what has changed into a stalemated struggle. Since then, greater than 112,000 folks — fighters and civilians — have been killed.

Aden’s airport is predicted to reopened Sunday, Transportation Minister Abdel-Salam Hamied introduced whereas visiting the power.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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