UK Suspends Commercial Direct Flights to Yemen as Yemeni Fighter Jets Conduct Air Raids
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that all direct flights between the United Kingdom and Yemen would be suspended immediately until all security questions have been addressed, the BBC and Al Jazeera reports. The UK and Yemenia Airlines have agreed to stop all flights in third countries for security screening before proceeding to the UK.
Mr. Brown in his speech called Yemen an “incubator and safe haven” for terrorist cells. The UK has been the first country to suspend direct flights in the wake of the attempted bombing of an airliner in the US on Christmas.
Yemen has been under increasing pressure from the West to eradicate terrorist cells from its country, and has been receiving aid to do so. Today, Al Jazeera reported that Yemeni fighter jets have conducted a raid on an “al-Qaeda” hideout.
An unnamed source said that a series of four raids, three on a house and one in an orange field, began this morning. The source said the raids targeted the house of Ayed al-Shabwani, one of six al-Qaeda leaders in the Arabian Peninsula who, according to the Yemeni government, were killed in an air attack last week; these individuals are believed to have created a safe haven for members in the raided areas.