Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Dozens killed, including children, in Yemen air strikes

Residences in Jizan hit by the shrapnel after Saudi Royal Air Defense Forces intercepted a ballistic missile launched by the Houthi rebels. SPA Residences in Jizan hit by the shrapnel after Saudi Royal Air Defense Forces intercepted a ballistic missile launched by the Houthi rebels. SPA
Patty Aguilar | 09 August, 2018, 23:18

A TV station run by the rebel Houthi movement reports that it was hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike.

That was the toll at just one hospital.

The coalition, backing Yemen's government in a war with the Houthis, said its actions were "legitimate", according to the BBC.

On Twitter, the Red Cross in Yemen said a hospital it supports had received 29 dead children, all under 15 years old, and another 48 injured people.

Medics treat a Yemeni child who was injured in a reported air strike at an emergency clinic in the Iran-backed Huthi rebels' stronghold province of Saada on 8 August 2018. Errant strikes have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.

"Grotesque, shameful, indignant. Blatant disregard for rules of war when bus carrying innocent school children is fair game for attack", Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said in a Twitter post. "I am extremely saddened by what happened in Saada".

Al-Malki insisted Thursday's attack carried out in Saada is a "legitimate military action" and is 'in accordance with worldwide humanitarian law and customs.' He also accused the Houthis of recruiting children and using them in the battlefields to cover for their actions.

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The alliance says it does not intentionally target civilians and has set up a committee to probe alleged mass casualty air strikes, which has mostly cleared the coalition of any blame.

The UK and U.S. has been criticised for providing logistical and military support to the Saudi-led coalition.

Investigations by the United Nations and the USA have found evidence that the missiles fired by the Houthis were supplied by Tehran. The simultaneous power vacuum and crippling of Yemen's already-weak health and security infrastructures have enabled al Qaeda and ISIS affiliates to operate, albeit under threat of US airstrike, and unleashed a tsunami of starvation and disease.

"We are trying to get rid of the arms manifestations in the province, and to carry on the efforts exerted by the UAE to counter the terrorism groups in Yemen", Col Mohammed Salem Al Buhar, commander of the elite forces in Shabwa, told The National. Its last air strike in Yemen was July 24 against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, she said, adding that the command seeks to help partners mitigate civilian casualties.

Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels on Wednesday, but shrapnel killed a Yemeni man and wounded 11 others in the southern Saudi city of Jazan, the Arab Coalition said.

"Our support to the coalition consists of aerial refueling and intelligence support to assist our partners in securing their borders from cross-border attacks from the Houthis".

The US, the United Kingdom and other Western powers have been providing arms and intelligence to the alliance in the course of the war, which has unleashed the world's worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen, according to the UN.

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