The Houthi political office denied its connection with the Aden airport attack, which left dead and wounded this morning, while government sources confirmed the group’s involvement in the attack, explaining that the members of the government were fine.
A member of the Houthi’s political bureau, Muhammad al-Bukhaiti, explained that what happened was settling scores as a result of the ongoing conflict between the “mercenaries of aggression,” indicating that the group’s accusation of a “broken cylinder.
Dozens were killed and wounded today, Wednesday, as a result of 3 explosions targeting Aden International Airport, coinciding with the arrival of a plane carrying members of the new Yemeni government to the airport runway.
And the French Press Agency stated that 10 people – at least – were killed, and dozens were injured after the explosions. Witnesses said that explosions and gunfire were heard at the airport shortly after the government delegation’s plane arrived.
Witnesses and Saudi media reported that members of the government – including Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik – in addition to the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Muhammad bin Saeed Al Jaber; They were safely transferred to the presidential palace in the city.
A local security source said that 3 mortar shells hit the airport terminal. The state-owned Saudi Al-Ikhbariya channel showed footage of destroyed cars and shattered glass, and clouds of white smoke rose from the scene.
In a statement to Anadolu Agency, a Yemeni security source said that a state of terror and panic prevails on the airport grounds due to the explosions, the nature of which has not yet been known.
Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik stated – through his Twitter account – that “the members of the government are in Aden and everyone is fine.” The security forces rushed to close Aden International Airport.
Moein Abdul-Malik considered that “the cowardly terrorist act that targeted Aden airport is part of the war being waged against the Yemeni state and our great people.”
He added that this act “will only increase our determination to fulfill our duties until the end of the coup (which was carried out by the Houthi group in 2014) and the restoration of the state and stability.”
For his part, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Muammar Al-Eryani confirmed – via Twitter – that “all members of the government are fine.”
The Yemeni minister accused the Houthis of targeting the airport, adding that “the cowardly terrorist attack carried out by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia on Aden airport will not deter us from carrying out our national duty.”
“Our blood and our souls will not be more precious than the blood of Yemenis. We have mercy on the souls of the martyrs, and we wish the injured a speedy recovery,” he said.
In a brief statement to Anadolu Agency, Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi confirmed that “the prime minister and the ministers are fine, and none of them were hurt.”
Badi said, “The safety of all government members has been secured, and they are in a safe place,” without referring to this place.
The Speaker of the Yemeni Parliament said that all Yemeni state institutions should be in Aden as a response to those he described as criminals. He added that “the cowardly act that took place at Aden airport will not deter the government from fulfilling its role and exercising its duties.”
Sources told Al-Jazeera that all members of the Yemeni government were on the plane at the time of the attack, except for the defense minister, who did not travel to Aden. Sources told Al-Jazeera that the Yemeni Prime Minister and members of the government were transferred to Al-Maasheeq Palace after the Aden airport explosions.
The newly formed cabinet integrates the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the southern separatists. The two parties are the main factions in a coalition based in the south of the country, backed by Saudi Arabia, and fighting the Houthi group, allied with Iran and controlling northern Yemen.
Munir Al-Wajih, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, told Anadolu Agency correspondent that the new government, with most of its members, arrived at Aden airport from Saudi Arabia, to begin its duties based on the Riyadh agreement.
Al-Wajih explained that the government delegation includes – in addition to the ministers – a number of deputy ministers and agents, as well as government military leaders, including the Yemeni military attaché in the Emirates, Major General Shalal Ali Shaye, who was appointed to his post on Tuesday.
The UN envoy to Yemen strongly condemned the attack on Aden airport and expressed his solidarity with the victims.
On the same level, a member of the Presidium of the Southern Transitional Council, Salem Al-Awlaki, stated – via Twitter – that the targeting of Aden airport was “with missile strikes.”
He called for an investigation into the targeting, stressing that the Riyadh Agreement will remain a guarantee of the security and safety of all.
And last Saturday, members of the government took the constitutional oath in front of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, at his residence in the capital, Riyadh.
On December 18, the Yemeni presidency announced the formation of a new government that includes 24 ministers, divided equally between the north and south, based on the Riyadh Agreement, after consultations between the (previous) government and the Southern Transitional Council supported by the UAE.
The new government formation aims to end the dispute between the former Yemeni government and the Transitional Council, and devote itself to confronting the Houthis, who have come close to controlling Marib, the last government stronghold in northern Yemen.
For the past 6 years, Yemen has been witnessing a war between government forces backed by a Saudi-Emirati coalition, and the Houthi group backed by Iran and controlling the capital, Sanaa.