The attack took place yesterday near the city of Taez, in the southwest of the country, in an area controlled by Houthi rebels. Government source speaks of "error" in targeting objective. No comment from Riyadh. Vehicle crowded with civilians returning from a day of shopping hit.
Sana'a (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A Saudi Arabian led coalition air raid in Yemen killed at least 23 civilians yesterday, including women and children. News of the attack near the city of Taez, in the southwest of the country was reported by the Houthi rebels who are fighting against the government of President Hadi supported by Riyadh.
A pro-government military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirms the raid and speaks of an "error" in the target of the strike. The Saudis have remained tight lipped, not wanting to officially comment on the story.
Saba agency, controlled by Shiite rebels who are close to Iran, reports a raid that hit a civilian vehicle in the Mawzaa Prefecture, about 60km southwest of Taez. Local witnesses speak of at least six children killed by Saudi bombs; Six more people are also reportedly dead, but their bodies were burned, making recognition impossible.
The Arab coalition attack affected an area controlled by Houthi rebels and involved at least one vehicle (civilian).
A military source explains that passengers on board the bus were returning to Mawzaa after a shopping trip to the nearby town of Barah. The same source adds that many of the corpses were "torn to pieces".
Since January 2015, Yemen has been the scene of a bloody civil war opposing the country’s Sunni elites led by former President Hadi, backed by Riyadh, and Shia Houthi rebels, who are close to Iran. In March 2015, a Saudi-led Arab coalition began attacking the rebels, sparking criticism from the United Nations over heavy casualties, including many children.
To date, more than 8,000 people have died, more than 44,000 have been injured and 3 million displaced. Nearly 19 million people (out of 24 in total) are in need of varying degrees of humanitarian assistance.
Yesterday's raid arrives a few days ahead of US President Donald Trump’s official visit to Saudi Arabia scheduled for May 20. It is the first official trip abroad for the White House tenant, since his official inauguration in January.
The attack devastated a MSF facility in the city of Abs, Hajjab province. The victims include members of the international NGO staff. A strike follows days of intense bombing against the Houthi rebels. Previously an attack on a Koranic school in Haydan killed 10 children.
Hospital sources speak of 14 victims. For the director of the dead factory have 16, all workers, and 10 others were injured. It is the first air strike of the Arab coalition in three months and follows the suspension of peace talks. The UN negotiator continues the dialogue in view of new meetings.
Doctors Without Borders recalls staff of six facilities, situated in the territories controlled by the Houthi rebels. MSF: difficult decision, but it has "lost confidence" in the ability of the Arab coalition to avoid civilian casualties. Since the beginning of the Saudis raids, four structures of the NGO have been hit.
Recent airstrikes hit the Saada and Taez governorates. In the latest incident, nine members of one family were killed and three critically injured. Casualties were between 3 and 80 years old. “We strongly deplore” the trend of targeting public places and private houses, said the ICRC. This pattern runs against the basic tenets of the law of armed conflict.