The pilot of an Iranian plane that was forced to return due to Saudi’s violent airstrikes against the Sanaa international airport in Yemen was carrying around 10 tonnes of medicines as well as 13 doctors, Press TV reports.
Captain Behzad Sedaqatnia told Press TV in an interview that the civilian aircraft had obtained the necessary permission from Oman and Yemen to cross into Yemen’s airspace.
The pilot added that Saudi Arabia told the Iranian plane that it did not have the necessary permission to land without providing the crew with any reasons.
The Iranian pilot also noted that he rejected a later request to land at an airport belonging to Saudi Arabia and continued flying toward Sanaa, but was blocked as two rockets hit the runway of the airport.
On Wednesday, Iran condemned the Saudi move as “totally inhumane and spiteful.”
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said the Saudi measure was aimed at piling up pressure on the defenseless people of Yemen.
The Saudi move came days after Saudi fighter jets intercepted an Iranian airplane carrying humanitarian aid and medicine as well as the injured Yemenis, who had been treated in Iran, and prevented it from entering the Yemeni airspace. The plane was forced to turn back although it had obtained the necessary permission to fly in the Oman-Yemen route.
Saudi Arabia launched its aerial attacks on Yemen on March 26 – without a United Nations mandate – in a bid to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a close ally of the kingdom, who has fled to Riyadh with members of his government.
According to reports, the Saudi military operation has so far left over 5,000 people dead or wounded.