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Operation Raahat
Part of the Aftermath of the 2014–15 Yemeni coup d'état and the Yemeni Crisis
200px
INS Sumitra at Aden port during operation
Operational scope Humanitarian relief
Planned by Indian Armed Forces and Ministry of External Affairs
Objective Evacuation of Indian citizens from Yemen
Date 1 April 2015 (2015-04-01) – 11 April 2015 (2015-04-11)[1]
Executed by Indian Armed Forces and Air India
Outcome More than 5600 people (4640 Indians and 960 foreign nationals) evacuated[1][2]

Operation Raahat(English:Operation Relief) was an operation of the Indian Armed Forces to evacuate Indian citizens and other foreign nationals from Yemen during the 2015 military intervention by Saudi Arabia and its allies in that country during the Yemeni Crisis.[3] The evacuation by sea started on 1 April 2015 from Aden port. The air evacuation started by Indian Air Force and Air India on 3 April 2015 from Sanaa. More than 4640 Indian citizens in Yemen were evacuated along with 960 foreign nationals of 41 countries.[2] The air evaculation ended on 9 April 2015 while the evacuation by sea ended on 11 April 2015.[1][4][5]

BackgroundEdit

The 2015 military intervention in Yemen began on March 27, 2015 when the Royal Saudi Air Force led a coalition of Arab states in attacking the Shiite Houthi rebels.[6] This was preceded by weeks of turmoil during which the Houthi guerrillas toppled the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and took over the large parts of the country.

Anticipating further hostilities, India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had issued advisories on January 21, 2015 to Indian expatriates in Yemen to leave the country. A second travel advisory urging Indians to avoid travel to Yemen, and to leave the country was issued on February 20, 2015.[7][8] Finally on March 25, 2 days before the attack by the Arab coalition, the MEA issued an urgent advisory urging all Indian citizens to evacuate as soon as possible.[9] However, more than 5000 Indian citizens had not heeded the warnings and were trapped in Yemen.

ResponseEdit

Indian evacuees from Yemen lining up for embarking INS Sumitra during Operation Raahat (1)

Indian evacuees lining up for embarking INS Sumitra

Indian evacuees from Yemen along with their belongings at jetty before embarking during Operation Raahat

Indian evacuees along with their belongings at jetty before embarking INS Sumitra

As Yemen was not accessible due to no-fly zone, India chose Djibouti as a centre for initial evacuation by sea. Indians advised to reach Sanaa and Aden. The Indian Navy redeployed INS Sumitra (P59) from anti-piracy operations off the coast of Lakshadweep to the Yemeni port of Aden. In addition, the Navy dispatched destroyer INS Mumbai (D62) and frigate INS Tarkash (F50) from Mumbai to provide protection and support to Indian ships and aircraft in the conflict zone. Both sailed 1350 nautical miles for four days to reach Yemen. The Indian Air Force deployed two C-17 Globemaster cargo aircraft with a capacity of carrying 600 passengers to Djibouti.[10][11]

Two ferries belonging to the Lakshadweep administration, MV Kavaratti and MV Corals, with a capacity for carrying 1500 passengers were dispatched to Aden.[12][13] In addition, two Airbus A320 aircraft of Air India were also deployed to Muscat in neighboring Oman.[14]

On 1 April 2015, INS Sumitra reached Aden to evacuate 349 Indians. When Air India was permitted to fly to Yemen on 3 April 2015, it started evacuating people from Sanaa to Djibouti and Djibouti to Mumbai or Kochi. Two C-17 Globemasters flew 9 sorties to Mumbai and 2 to Kochi from Djibouti. On 4 April 2015, INS Mumbai reached Aden but was unable to dock due to shelling so the people were ferried to the ship in small boats.[10]

Registration of Indian citizens evacuating from Yemen in progress (2015) - 1

Indian Navy personnel registering Indian citizens evacuating from Yemen.

Over the days more than 4640 overseas Indians were evacuated along with 960 foreign nationals of more than 41 countries.[1][2] Some of them did not have the operational capability to carry out rescue operation so they sought help of India. These countries included: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Canada, Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Maldives, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Slovenia, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, Thailand, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Out of total 5600 people, 2900 Indians were evacuated by special eighteen flights from Sanaa and 1670 Indians by ships from four ports by Indian Navy.[10][15][16][17] Eleven Indians were evacuated by the Pakistan Navy's PNS Aslat from Al Mukalla reached Karachi and were later flown back to India on 8 April 2015.[5][15][18][19] The air evacuation ended on 9 April 2015 while the sea evacuation ended on 11 April 2015.[20] 200 Indians refused to leave Yemen due to various reasons.[21]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "India evacuates 4,640 nationals, 960 others from Yemen". 2015-04-10. http://www.oneindia.com/india/india-evacuates-4640-nationals-960-others-from-yemen-1711703.html. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kumar, Hari (2015-04-10). "India Concludes Evacuation of Its Citizens From Yemen". http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/11/world/asia/india-concludes-evacuation-of-its-citizens-from-yemen.html?nytmobile=0. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  3. "India begins evacuating citizens". The Hindu. March 31, 2015. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-begins-evacuating-citizens/article7054994.ece. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  4. "1000 nationals from 41 countries: India's Yemen evacuation finally ends and the world is floored". 2015-04-10. http://www.firstpost.com/india/1000-nationals-41-countries-indias-yemen-evacuation-finally-ends-world-floored-2192271.html. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "India appreciates Pakistan’s gesture of evacuating its nationals from Yemen". 2015-04-08. http://m.timesofindia.com/india/India-appreciates-Pakistans-gesture-of-evacuating-its-nationals-from-Yemen/articleshow/46852396.cms. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  6. "Airstrike on Yemen refugee camp could portend Saudi ground incursion". CNN. March 30, 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/30/middleeast/yemen-saudi-arabia-intervention/index.html. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  7. "Ministry of External Affairs releases advisory against travelling to Yemen". Yahoo! News. Jan 21, 2015. https://in.news.yahoo.com/ministry-external-affairs-releases-advisory-against-travelling-yemen-143938583.html. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  8. "Helpline of Indian Embassy in Yemen and travel advisory". Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Feb 20, 2015. http://mea.gov.in/press-releases.htm?dtl/701/Helpline+of+Indian+Embassy+in+Yemen+and+travel+advisory. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  9. "Leave strife-torn Yemen, India tells its citizens". The Hindu. March 25, 2015. http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/india-asks-its-nationals-to-leave-fragile-yemen/article7032424.ece?ref=relatedNews. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Explained: How India evacuated 5000 stranded in Yemen". 2015-04-10. http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-leaving-yemen/. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  11. "Indian ship in periphery of Yemen waters, awaits local clearance". First Post. March 31, 2015. http://www.firstpost.com/world/indian-ship-periphery-yemen-waters-awaits-local-clearance-2181585.html. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  12. "New Delhi will send two ships to Yemen to evacuate stranded Indians". the Times of India. March 27, 2015. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/New-Delhi-will-send-two-ships-to-Yemen-to-evacuate-stranded-Indians/articleshow/46716544.cms. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  13. "Delhi sends 2 ships to conflict-hit Yemen to evacuate Indians". The Times of India. March 30, 2015. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Delhi-sends-2-ships-to-conflict-hit-Yemen-to-evacuate-Indians/articleshow/46747194.cms. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  14. Oman, Times of (2015-04-07). "Salalah transit for Indian rescue flight from Yemen". http://www.timesofoman.com/News/50008/Article-Salalah-transit-for-Indian-rescue-flight-from-Yemen. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "India evacuates 232 foreigners including Americans, Europeans from Yemen". 2015-04-07. http://m.timesofindia.com/india/India-evacuates-232-foreigners-including-Americans-Europeans-from-Yemen/articleshow/46839994.cms. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  16. "Czechs seek help from India in Yemen". 2015-04-07. http://www.praguepost.com/czech-news/46678-czechs-seek-help-from-india-in-yemen. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  17. "Twenty-six countries seek India's help to evacuate their citizens from Yemen". Dailymail. 7 April 2015. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3027948/Twenty-six-countries-seek-India-s-help-evacuate-citizens-Yemen.html. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  18. "Yemen crisis: Number of Indian evacuees reach 4000 mark". 2015-04-07. http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/yemen-crisis-number-of-indian-evacuees-reach-4000-mark_1574979.html. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  19. "4,000 Indians rescued so far, Yemen air evacuation op to end on Wed". 2015-04-07. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/4-000-indians-rescued-so-far-yemen-air-evacuation-op-to-end-on-wed/article1-1334906.aspx. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  20. "India Pulls Off Great Escape in Yemen, 4000 Evacuated From War Zone". April 8, 2015. http://m.ndtv.com/india-news/government-expected-to-wrap-up-yemen-evacuation-operation-today-4000-indians-rescued-so-far-753135. Retrieved April 8, 2015. 
  21. "Yemen: India ends Operation 'Rahat', 200 refuse to leave". 2015-04-11. http://www.sify.com/mobile/news/yemen-india-ends-operation-rahat-200-refuse-to-leave-news-nri-pekwEyiajibif.html. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 

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