Dozens killed, including children on a bus, in Yemen air strikes

Clay Curtis
August 10, 2018

The ICRC said a strike hit the bus driving children in Dahyan market, in northern Saada.

Houthi media broadcast what appears to be graphic scenes of the aftermath, depicting children drenched in blood and burned black by the blast.

A child lies in hospital after the school bus he was on was allegedly attacked by the Saudi-led coalition.

He said it had hit "militants responsible for planning and targeting civilians" in the southern Saudi city of Jazan on Wednesday night, where one Yemeni resident was killed and 11 others were injured by fragments from an intercepted ballistic missile that was launched by the Houthis from neighbouring Amran province.

Geert Cappelaere, the UN Children's Fund regional director in the Middle East and North Africa, said the children were "reportedly under the age of 15". The fact that this was a high profile attack scattering the bodies of children across a crowded market is only going to make things worse.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an "independent and prompt" probe, while State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the USA is "calling the Saudi led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident".

In a statement Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition said the strike was a "legitimate military action to target elements that planned and carried out" an attack that targeted civilians in Jizan, a border city in southwest Saudi Arabia.

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Yemenis helps a wounded child after being injured in an alleged Saudi-led airstrike, at a hospital in the northern province of Saada.

He accused the rebels of using children as "tools and covers for their terrorist acts".

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

"This is yet another example of the blatant violations of global humanitarian law that we have seen in Yemen over the past three years-from indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilians, denial of access to humanitarian aid and the use of starvation as a weapon of war-it's the people of Yemen, not the warring parties, who are paying the ultimate price", said Sylvia Ghaly, director of advocacy in Yemen for Save the Children.

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates got involved in Yemen's civil war in 2015. It also said the missile was launched "deliberately to target residential and populated areas".

It is with the stated aim of dislodging the Houthis, and restoring the previous government, that the Sunni coalition has waged a years-long airstrike campaign in the country with the support of the U.S. Since large-scale fighting erupted in 2015, the ensuing violence has left more than 10,000 people killed and the country's health infrastructure so badly battered, almost 18 million Yemenis lack reliable access to food.

He added that as a result of Trump's "strong and positive signals", Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are beginning to engage more with the peace process and said, "So withdrawing from the Iran deal will definitely contribute to the end of the war in Yemen".

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