Yemen: UN says 31 civilians incl children killed in Saudi-led airstrikes

16th Feb 2020
Yemen: UN says 31 civilians incl children killed in Saudi-led airstrikes

By Mohamed al-Samei

 

SANA’A (AA): UN said Saturday 31 were killed, including women and children, in Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in northern Yemen.

“Preliminary field reports indicate that on 15 February as many as 31 civilians were killed and 12 others injured in strikes that hit Al-Hayjah area… in Al-Jawf governorate,” said a statement from the office of the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

The UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande denounced the “terrible strikes”.

“So many people are being killed in Yemen—it’s a tragedy and it’s unjustified,” she said.

“Under international humanitarian law parties which resort to force are obligated to protect civilians. Five years into this conflict and belligerents are still failing to uphold this responsibility. It’s shocking,” she added.

“Thirty people were killed as an initial death toll as a result of the raids,” Yusuf al-Hadiri, a spokesman for the Houthi-run Health Ministry, said in statements cited by Al-Masirah television.

According to the broadcaster, the attacks targeted a group of people checking the wreckage of a Tornado fighter jet downed by Houthis in Al-Jawf province on Friday.

The spokesman said women and children were among the victims.

But the Houthi rebels released footage of what they called the launch of their advanced surface-to-air missile and the moment it struck the jet in the night sky, sending it crashing down in a ball of flames.

“The downing of a Tornado in the sky above Al-Jawf is a major blow to the enemy and an indication of remarkable growth in Yemeni (rebel) air defence capabilities,”  Huthi spokesman Mohammed Abdelsalam tweeted.

There was no comment from the Saudi-led coalition on the claim.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including numerous civilians, believed to have been killed in the conflict since then, while another 14 million are at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

Additional report from AFP

[Archive Photo: Saudi led coalition bombing destroy prison killing 100 in Dhamar, Yemen, on 1 September 2019. Photographer: Mohammed Hamoud/AA]

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