Airstrike kills at least 41 in Yemen
The UN has announced an investigation into the Saudi led Coalition air strike on a hotel, on the 23th of August, near the Yemeni capital which was apparently targeting Houthi rebels. This comes as 14 more civilians were confirmed dead in an airstrike on a a housing complex on the 25th of August which the Saudi government has admitted was a mistake and just yesterday 5 civilians were killed in a strike on a checkpoint in the capital of Yemen.
A UN investigation is sorely needed and Saudi need to be held accountable for their actions. Witnesses and observers at the hotel say that the hotel was popular and that bodies are still being pulled from the wreckage. Dozens of people were crushed to death as the building completely collapsed. To date 41 bodies have been recovered but at least 13 other people are missing.
(People carry the body of a man they recovered from the site of Saudi-led air strikes in Arhab area north of Sanaa (Reuters)
Witness also noted that there was a air second strike on the same site minutes after the first. This second strike cut down the first responders and people who rushed to help those trapped under the hotel. There are conflicting reports about the identity of the victims with some observers claiming they were mainly Houthi rebels while doctors on the ground have reported they were civilians. Even if the majority were rebels some innocent civilians have undoubtedly been murdered.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesman said in New York that the UN could not confirm the attack but that they were investigated reports. He added that “What is clear is that any attack on civilians is unacceptable. This is a message we have often repeated and we will continue to repeat.”
(The Saudi-led Operation DECISIVE STORM began in Yemen on March 25, 2015)
Saudi’s war in Yemen has seen major concerns surrounding civilian casualties and has sparked outrage from many NGO’s and the UN. Since the war began in 2015 around 10,000 civilians have died while another 3 million people are internally displaced. Yemen’s infrastructure has been almost completely destroyed and 17 million people are now in need of food aid. Diseases has broken out and there is now more than 370,000 cases of cholera reported in the country. Activists are calling on the U.S and U.K to stop selling munitions to the Saudi led coalition and end their support of it.
This would not even be close to the first time the coalition has hit multiple civilians in airstrikes. Airstrikes have been know to hit hospitals and other civilians infrastructure. In October last year, a funeral was hit in which 140 civilians died, the missiles used had been sold to Saudi by the united states of America.
(People gather at the site of the remains of the hotel which the Saudi-led air strikes hit in Arhab near Sanaa on 23 August 2017)
“Yemen air attack destroys hotel, killing at least 35 people” Middle East Eye, 2017. http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/civilians-among-30-dead-yemen-air-raids-aid-groups-1571648836
“Saudi-led airstrikes hit Yemen hotel, killing at least 41” ABC news, 2017. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/yemen-officials-saudi-led-coalition-strikes-hotel-die-49373115
“Saudi-led air strikes hit Yemen hotel killing 60 people including civilians and rebels” The Independent, 2017. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-yemen-hotel-air-strike-killing-sanaa-civilians-rebels-deaths-a7908096.html
“UN probes Yemen air strike as death toll ‘rises to 41’” Al Jazeera, 2017. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/probes-yemen-air-strike-death-toll-jumps-41-170824070648855.html
“Dozens killed in airstrike on Yemeni hotel” The Guardian, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/23/dozens-killed-in-airstrike-on-yemeni-hotel