The first commercial flight of the year departs from Sana’a, Yemen

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SANAA, Yemen – The first commercial flight in six years departed from Yemen’s rebel-held capital on Monday, officials said, as part of a fragile ceasefire in the county’s civil war.

According to media outlets run by Iran-backed Huthi rebels, the Yemen Airways flight left for the Jordanian capital, Amman, with 151 passengers on board.

Earlier, the plane had reached Sana’a to pick up passengers. It is not clear where the plane came from. The plane was greeted with an official “water salute” at Touchdown, according to a video posted online by National Carrier.

The flight is part of a 60-day UN-brokered ceasefire deal struck by the internationally recognized government and Houthi rebels last month. The ceasefire, which took effect on April 2, is the first nationwide ceasefire in Yemen in six years.

The ceasefire agreement calls for two commercial flights a week from Sanaa to Jordan and Egypt. The Houthi-controlled Sanaa is blocked by the Saudi-led coalition, which supports an internationally recognized government.

The flight was originally scheduled to take off on April 2, but the departure date was delayed due to a dispute over passports issued by the Houthis. This time, the internationally recognized government has allowed passengers to board the flight with Huthi-issued documents.

The fragile armistice came amid concerted international and regional efforts to resolve the conflict that destroyed the Arab world’s poorest country and pushed it to the brink of famine.

Yemen’s civil war began in 2014, when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa and forced the government into exile. The Saudi-led coalition entered the war in early 2015 to bring the government back to power.

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