India stuns world with brave Yemen rescue mission, US, France, Germany seek help

After Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had said on Monday that 23 countries had requested India for help to evacuate their nationals from strife torn Yemen, MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted the list of countries — including United States, Germany, France and Sweden — that had asked for help.

Countries across the world are frantically trying to get their citizens out of the country because of the deteriorating situation in Yemen.

According to a CNN report, the Indian government has told the US that it will help rescue American citizens in Yemen. The US Embassy in Sanna put out an emergency message saying, "The Indian government has offered to assist U.S. citizens who want to depart Yemen for Djibouti.  This potentially includes flights out of Sana’a and ships from Aden.  U.S. citizens wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should contact First Secretary Raj Kopal at the Indian Embassy in Sana’a"

The message also said, "The next flights from Sana’a are scheduled to depart early on April 7. The Department of State cautions that U.S. citizens should consider carefully the risks of traveling to or within Sana’a and Aden in order to board evacuation transport given security conditions in both cities."

This undated handout photograph released by the Indian Air Force shows Indian nationals deboarding an Air Force plane in Mumbai after being evacuated from Yemen. AFP

This undated handout photograph released by the Indian Air Force shows Indian nationals deboarding an Air Force plane in Mumbai after being evacuated from Yemen. AFP

However according toThe Economic Times, it was a surprising move since US "has strong naval presence as well as deployment of its Air Force in West Asia. France also has presence of its Navy in the region to counter piracy".

India has so far managed to evacuate more than 3,300 of its citizens. On Monday India evacuated 1052 of its nationals with the government looking to wrap up the massive evacuation operation 'Rahat' in a couple of days.

While 574 Indians were evacuated from Sanna by Air India, which did three sorties, another group of 479 was rescued from Al Hudaydah by INS Mumbai, the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry.

With nearly 3,300 of its nationals out of Yemen, India was looking at wrapping up the evacuation operation in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, Fierce clashes raged today between rebels and loyalists in southern Yemen, leaving more than 140 dead in 24 hours, as the Red Cross faced delays to urgently needed aid deliveries.

Relief workers have warned of a dire situation in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state, where a Saudi-led coalition is waging war on Iran-backed Huthi Shiite rebels.

The bloodiest fighting occurred between rebels and loyalists of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in the main southern city of Aden, officials said.

Yemen, strategically located near key shipping routes and bordering oil-rich Saudi Arabia, is sinking deeper into a multi-sided civil conflict.

The fighting has drawn in an array of armed groups including the Huthis, pro-Hadi militia, army units loyal to Saleh, southern separatists, Sunni tribes and al-Qaeda.

The Red Cross has appealed for an immediate truce to facilitate aid deliveries and has called for all land, air and sea routes to be immediately opened to allow the delivery of 48 tonnes of medical supplies the organisation has ready to treat up to 3,000 wounded.

The situation is particularly dire in Aden, where some neighbourhoods have had no electricity or water in days.

The Red Cross has been trying to fly emergency supplies into Sanaa but the plane is still stuck on the tarmac.

The UN children's agency said on Tuesday that more than 1,00,000 people in Yemen have left their homes in search of safety and at least 74 children have been killed since fighting in the country intensified almost two weeks ago.

UNICEF said the violence has disrupted water supplies in areas of southern Yemen and that sewage is overflowing in some locations, raising the risk of disease outbreak.

Hospitals are struggling to treat large numbers of wounded with insufficient supplies and some medical facilities have come under attack, the agency. It said at least three health workers, including an ambulance driver, have been killed in attacks.

Children are especially vulnerable, said the agency's Yemen representative, Julien Harneis.

"They are being killed, maimed and forced to flee their homes, their health threatened and their education interrupted," Harneis said in a statement, released on Tuesday in Amman, Jordan.

The agency said at least 74 children have been killed and 44 wounded since 26 March, when a Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen's Shiite rebels and their allies began.

With PTI inputs


Published Date: Apr 07, 2015 05:45 pm | Updated Date: Apr 07, 2015 05:49 pm

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