In October 2016, a densely populated funeral in Yemen was struck, leaving at least 155 dead and 525 wounded, including the senior military and security officials of the Shia Houthi and loyalists of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The attack was reportedly carried out by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia accepts the finding of the Joint Incidents Assessment Team, a setup of coalition states to investigate complaints against coalitions' conduct in Decisive Storm, that coalition's bombardment at a funeral ceremony in Sanaʽa, in which over 140 people were killed and more than 600 injured, was based on wrong information. Reportedly, the United States is reviewing its policy of support for the Saudi-led coalition. US Secretary of State John Kerry sought assurances from Saudi Arabia that incidents such as the airstrike on a civilian funeral in Sanaʽa will not happen again. He proposed a cease-fire and a return to talks aiming for a political resolution of the conflict. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he hoped to institute a 72-hour cease-fire as soon as possible, provided the Houthis will agree.
Since the Saudi-led coalition began military operations against Ansar Allah on 26 March 2015, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes unlawfully struck hospitals and other facilities run by aid organizations, according to Human Rights Watch. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical facilities in Yemen were attacked four times in three months. On 26 October 2015, HRW documented six Saudi-led airstrikes which bombed a MSF hospital in Haydan district (Sa'dah Governorate), wounding two patients. A Saudi-led coalition airstrike then hit a MSF mobile clinic on 2 December 2015, in Al Houban district (Taizz). Eight people were wounded, including two MSF staff members, and one other civilian nearby was killed. On 10 January 2016, six people were killed and seven wounded when a hospital in Sa'ada was hit by a projectile. MSF said it could not confirm whether the hospital was hit in an air strike by warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition, or by a rocket fired from the ground, and at least one other landed nearby. On 21 January 2016, an MSF ambulance was hit by an airstrike. Seven people were killed and dozens were wounded.More Info
An explosion in a warehouse on Sunday 7 April 2019, in Sanaa, have killed at least 11 civilians, including school children and left more than 39 people wounded. The Associated Press news agency said 13 killed, including 7 children and more than 100 were wounded. According to Al Jazeera and Houthi officials, the civilians were killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike. The Saudi-led coalition denied any airstrikes took place that day on Sanaa. The state-run news agency in Aden, aligned with the internationally recognized government, said the rebels had stored weapons at the warehouse. According to The Washington Post, "some families and residents of the district of Sawan said the explosion occurred after a fire erupted inside the warehouse. They said a fire sent columns of white smoke rising into the air, followed by the explosion." Their accounts were confirmed by several videos filmed by bystanders.More Info
The Saudi-led campaign has received widespread criticism and had a dramatic worsening effect on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, that reached the level of a "humanitarian disaster" or "humanitarian catastrophe". After the Saudi-led coalition declared the entire Saada Governorate a military target, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen and Human Rights Watch expressed concern that the bombing there was unnecessarily harming civilians. On 1 July UN declared for Yemen a "level-three" emergency—the highest UN emergency level—for a period of six months. Human rights groups repeatedly blamed the Saudi-led military coalition for killing civilians and destroying health centres and other infrastructure with airstrikes. The de facto blockade left 78% (20 million) of the Yemeni population in urgent need of food, water and medical aid. Aid ships are allowed, but the bulk of commercial shipping, on which the country relies, is blocked. In one incident, coalition jets prevented an Iranian Red Crescent plane from landing by bombing Sanaʽa International Airport's runway, which blocked aid delivery by air. As of 10 December, more than 2,500,000 people had been internally displaced by the fighting. Many countries evacuated more than 23,000 foreign citizens from Yemen. More than 1,000,000 people fled Yemen for Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Oman. The war has caused a humanitarian crisis, including a famine which has threatened over 17 million people, as well as an outbreak of cholera which has infected hundreds of thousands.More Info
In February 2016, Amnesty International (AI) reported that it had investigated the circumstances and impact of more than 30 air strikes of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces in Sanaʽa, Hodeidah, Hajjah and Sa'da. They believed that the coalition was intentionally striking civilian targets. On 24 April 2015, Amnesty International said that airstrikes hit five densely populated areas (Sa'dah, Sanaʽa, Hodeidah, Hajjah and Ibb), and "raise concerns about compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law." Their research indicates that there were at least 97 civilian deaths, including 33 children, and 157 civilians were wounded.More Info
A UN panel of experts said in a report for the UN Security Council in January 2016, which was leaked to The Guardian, that the Saudi-led coalition had undertaken 119 sorties in Yemen that violated international humanitarian law. The panel said it had "documented that the coalition had conducted airstrikes targeting civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international humanitarian law, including camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure, such as the airport in Sanaʽa, the port in Hudaydah and domestic transit routes". The report said: "Many attacks involved multiple airstrikes on multiple civilian objects. Of the 119 sorties, the panel identified 146 targeted objects. The panel also documented three alleged cases of civilians fleeing residential bombings and being chased and shot at by helicopters." While the UN experts were not allowed on the ground in Yemen, they studied satellite imagery of cities before and after attacks, that showed "extensive damage to residential areas and civilian objects". The UN panel concluded that "civilians are disproportionately affected" by the fighting and deplored tactics that "constitute the prohibited use of starvation as a method of warfare". The report said: "The coalition's targeting of civilians through airstrikes, either by bombing residential neighbourhoods or by treating the entire cities of Sa'dah and Maran as military targets, is a grave violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution. In certain cases, the panel found such violations to have been conducted in a widespread and systematic manner." The report called for an international commission, set up by the Security Council, that should "investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Yemen by all parties and to identify the perpetrators of such violations". Saudi Arabia had previously objected to an inquiry being set up.More Info
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