Yemen’s internationally recognized government, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, has been fighting the Iran-backed Huthis since 2014, when the rebels seized control of the capital.
In November, the coalition, which controls Yemen’s airspace, said that patients needing medical care would be allowed to be flown out of Sanaa, which has been closed to commercial flights since 2016.
The Huthis on Sunday criticized the evacuation plan as inadequate for the needs of thousands of people in urgent need of treatment.
The Norwegian Refugee Council welcomed the start of the humanitarian airlift.
“We hope that these medical flights will save the lives of other Yemenis. Many more are still waiting to get the healthcare they need.”