INS Sumitra rescued the Indian nationals after New Delhi got permission to dock its ship at the Aden harbour for the evacuation of its citizens from the sea port city as the government launched a massive air and sea evacuation operation for its over 4,000 nationals in Yemen.
The government has sent an IAF C-17 Globemaster to bring back Indians. Another aircraft will reach soon.
Fighting has been going on in Yemen since January 22, when the legitimate government under President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was ousted by Shiite Houthi forces. This has provoked the recent military campaign by a coalition of 10 countries lead by Saudi Arabia. The air raids have left 83 people killed and about 350 others injured across the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul aziz Al Saud late Monday evening.
The Saudi Arabian King recalled the strong and close relations between India and Saudi Arabia and assured Prime Minister of his full attention to the safety of Indians in Yemen and all possible assistance for their early and safe evacuation.
Two warships have also been pressed into service besides two other passenger ships while the Indian Air Force has put on stand-by two C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft.
Air India has also stationed two 180-seater Airbus A320 planes in Muscat for evacuation of Indians from Yemen’s capital Sanaa to Djibouti whenever a clearance is given by the concerned authorities.
The Defence sources said four ships, including destroyer INS Mumbai and stealth frigate INS Tarkash — will reach Yemen by Saturday. Two merchant vessels – Kavaratti and Coral – have also been dispatched.
The four ships are to join each other in Arabian Sea on April 2 and proceed as a composite group to Djibouti.