الخميس , يونيو 11 2020

Yemen deaths amount to 'war crimes'

Smoke rises after an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa, Yemen, on 14 July, 2015

Saudi missiles have been hitting the capital Sanaa, as well as the southern cities of Taiz and Aden

Saudi-led air strikes against rebels in Yemen have left a “bloody train of civilian death”, according to a report from Amnesty International.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have been carrying out air raids against the Houthi militia, loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, since 26 March.

More than 4,000 people have died in the conflict – half of them civilians.

Amnesty’s report said “all parties may have committed war crimes.”

The 30-page-document investigates eight coalition airstrikes during June and July, which killed 141 people – mainly women and children.

It claims to reveal a pattern of raids targeting heavily-populated sites, including a mosque, a school and a market. In the majority of cases, no military target could be located nearby, it adds.

“The report depicts in harrowing detail the gruesome and bloody trail of death and destruction in Taiz and Aden from unlawful attacks, which may amount to war crimes, by all parties,” said Amnesty’s Donatella Rovera.

She said civilians were having to dodge crossfire between rebels and anti-Houthi fighters on the ground, as well as the Saudi-led air strikes.


Families have been displaced and injured in the violence

The report also details 30 attacks by the Houthis and the armed groups they are battling in the southern cities of Aden and Taiz.

They too targeted densely populated areas, “displaying utter disregard for the safety of civilians”, added Ms Rovera.

Amnesty called on the United Nations to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate “alleged war crimes”.

The Houthis overran the capital Sanaa last September and went on to seize most of the country.

President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was forced to flee Aden for Saudi Arabia in March – prompting the oil-rich kingdom to launch its military campaign.

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been described as “catastrophic” by the UN with 20 million civilians – 80% of the population – in need of aid.

Why is there fighting in Yemen?

  • Northern Shia Muslim rebels known as Houthis, backed by forces loyal to Yemen’s ex-president, took over parts of Yemen, including Sanaa, and forced the government into exile in March
  • The rebels accused the government of corruption and of planning to marginalise their heartland within a proposed federal system
  • Forces loyal to the government, and southern militia, are fighting back, aided by air strikes led by neighbouring Saudi Arabia

Yemen crisis: Who is fighting whom?

Meeting the Houthis and their enemies

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