4 September 2017 — Drone Warfare
On 6th August the Real Progressive Front reported that Saudi Arabia and its allies, neglecting all reports and admonitions, have killed 9 family members, including 4 children, at home by ‘haphazard’ coalition airstrikes. Reports indicate that the strikes targeted a residential zone and videos taken at the scene show people dragging out the corpses from the rubble of houses.
Dr Abdel-Ilah al-Azzi, the head of the local health department, confirmed the number of victims, adding that three more were injured on the same spot. The casualties were reported from Madha district and anonymous local security officials asserted that strikes were meant to destroy the house suspected of sheltering Ansarullah activists.
Later in August, the Telegraph republished an article from Agence France-Presse reporting the Saudi-led coalition’s admission of responsibility for an air strike in the Yemeni capital that killed 14 civilians, describing it as a “technical mistake”.
The coalition, in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said a review of the strike investigators had found “that a technical mistake was behind the accident”. Witnesses and medics in Sanaa said several children were among 14 people killed in the strike that demolished residential blocks in Sanaa. The raid came two days after a series of strikes on Sanaa and a nearby hotel in which at least 35 people died.
Mohammed Ahmad, who lived in one of the buildings, said he was among those who had taken nine bodies to a hospital. “We extracted them one by one from under the rubble,” he said. Diggers worked at the site for hours after the raid as medics and residents searched for the missing.
Strong international condemnation
The attack was the latest in a wave of deadly raids on residential areas of Yemen blamed on the coalition, drawing strong international condemnation.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross condemned the raid as “outrageous”. She called in a statement for the UN to take action against Saudi Arabia over the list of civilian facilities struck in deadly air raids over the past two years.
- The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 8,400 civilians have been killed and 47,800 wounded since the Saudi-led alliance intervened in the Yemen conflict. The coalition has come under massive pressure from international organisations including the United Nations over the raids.
- The UN has said the coalition was probably responsible for a July attack on the southwestern Taez province that killed 20 people, including children. “In the week from August 17 to August 24, 58 civilians have been killed, including 42 by the Saudi-led coalition,” UN human rights office spokeswoman Liz Throssell told reporters in Geneva on Friday.
Besieged by the Saudi forces, millions of Yemeni residents are reported to be in critical condition. Humanitarian organizations have reported the poor healthcare and nutritional conditions of the country in emergent state and Yemen also faces a deadly cholera outbreak that has claimed nearly 2,000 lives and affected more than half a million people since late April.