Saturday, April 7, 2012

Yemen: General Loyal to Former President Forces Closure of Airport in Capital

Sana'a International Airport (SAH) was closed earlier today (April 7) after the airport was surrounded by forces loyal to air force chief General Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, who has refused to resign after being fired by Yemen's new president, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi.

To make matters worse, the general's forces have threatened to attack any aircraft attempting to land or take off from SAH. As a result, no aircraft has taken off or landed since these forces made their threat late on Friday (April 6). The troops surrounding the airport are also supported by members of the Hamdan tribe that supports former President Saleh.

COMMENT: Al-Ahmar has refused to step aside unless several senior defense ministry officials, including the defense minister himself, also leave.

Although SAH is closed, other major airports in Yemen are continuing to function, including Aden International Airport (ADE), Hodeida International Airport (HOD) and Ta'izz International Airport (TAI).

This posting will be updated as new information becomes available.

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