Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Coalition: Yemen strike targeted ballistic missile planners, not civilians

Saudi-led coalition air strikes on bus carrying children in Yemen leaves 'dozens' dead Airstrike by U.S. ally on bus carrying Yemeni children kills and wounds scores
Gerardo Duncan | 10 August, 2018, 11:29

Scores of civilians, mostly children, were killed and injured in an airstrike on Thursday by USA allies on a bus in a crowded market in northern Yemen, according to health officials and worldwide aid agencies.

Earlier, the Saudi-led coalition defended the airstrike as a "legitimate military operation", and a retaliation to a Houthi ballistic missile that targeted the kingdom's Jizan province on Wednesday night, according to the country's official news agency.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was sending supplies to ICRC-supported hospitals to support an influx of casualties.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a hospital it supported in Saada had received dozens of casualties after the attack.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S.is concerned about the incident and calls on all parties to take appropriate measures to protect civilians in the area, during a briefing Thursday.

The Huthis' Al-Masirah TV, quoting the rebel health ministry, reported that 50 people were killed and 77 wounded, "mostly children", though it was not possible to verify that toll.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their allies intervened in the conflict the following March, aiming to push back the Houthis and restore the internationally recognised government to power.

The missile was sacked from the rebel-held Yemeni province of Amran towards Jizan, the coalition said.

"The Coalition is targeting the militants responsible for planning and targeting civilians which resulted in killing of one and injuring 11 in Jazan", it said.

Saudi Arabia admitted that it had struck the town of Dahyan, on the Saudi border, but said that it was justified and in response to a Houthi missile attack on its own territory.

Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition have killed hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets. Say: I want the State Dept to condemn the Saudis for bombing Yemeni children and I want the USA to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. Most of the images of the children hit by this airstrike are so gruesome the broadcasting rules don't allow us to show them - but a warning, the report still contains distressing images.

The Saudi government issued a statement on August 9 and described the strike as "a legitimate military action" and was "conducted in conformity with the worldwide humanitarian law".

Yemen's war has left almost 10,000 people dead since 2015 and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The Iran-aligned Houthis regularly fire into Saudi Arabia and have targeted its capital, Riyadh, with ballistic missiles.

The Saudi-led coalition is fighting to defeat Houthi rebels who expelled the Yemeni government from the capital and took control of vast swathes of the country. We urge all parties to agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities, return to the negotiation table to commit to a ceasefire and cooperate with the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.

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