Just as the U.S. in typical fashion continues lecturing countries like Syria, Russia, and Iran over severe human rights violations, including allegations of everything from launching barrel bomb strikes on civilian areas in Idlib to chemical weapons attacks to sensational spy poisoning ops in the U.K., the Saudi-US coalition in Yemen has attacked another bus full of children and civilians in Yemen.
On Wednesday multiple Yemeni journalists reporting from on the ground confirmed a new airstrike resulting in mass civilian casualties, this time a Saudi-US coalition strike scored a direct hit on a bus station in beseiged Hodeidah City.
The strike occurred the same day Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced they've certified the legality of US assistance to the coalition in Yemen before Congress.
And this further comes, as NPR reports, after a long litany of instances of the coalition "causing disproportionate civilian deaths in the Yemen conflict because of airstrikes that have hit markets, weddings and even a bus carrying children from summer camp." The Red Cross identified 40 children dead from that first major bus attack in Yemen's north on August 9th.
Sanaa-based journalist Ahmad Algohbary reports of the new Wednesday attack:
Civilians were Killed & injured by Saudi led coalition airstrikes on bus station in Hodeidah City, Yemen. The warplanes are preventing the paramedics from getting into the attack scene.
Mainstream media has been slow to pick up the new report, however the graphic video of the aftermath of the horrific airstrike spread quickly on social media, and was quickly picked up by various journalists (warning: graphic content).
First video shows the aftermath of #Saudi led coalition airstrikes on bus station in #Hodeidah City. #Yemen.— Ahmad Algohbary (@AhmadAlgohbary) September 12, 2018
20 were killed and 25 injured including children.
(Warning graphic content). pic.twitter.com/Cbx44p2Jek
The video shows what appears to be a burning bus or large vehicle in the aftermath of an alleged airstrike, with casualties lying on the ground, some of them lifeless and beginning to be evacuated by first responders.
Early unconfirmed reports counted upwards of 15 men, women, and children among the dead, with many more wounded.
Beirut-based Al Masdar News reports, citing a local human rights group:
According to their report, at least 15 civilians were killed in the Kilo area of the Hodeidah Governorate after the Saudi Coalition heavily bombarded this part of the province.
This latest bombing the Saudi Coalition comes as the Gulf-backed forces resume their large-scale offensive inside the Hodeidah Governorate.
Also on Wednesday Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified the legality of US assistance to the coalition in Yemen.
Mattis, subsequent to Pompeo's announcement of Congressional approval, published a statement reaffirming the United States' commitment to partnering with the Saudis and UAE in their war on Yemen's Houthi rebels, seen by Washington as Iran's proxy.
Secretary Mattis' statement begins, "I endorse and fully support Secretary Pompeo's certification to the Congress that the governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are making every effort to reduce the risk of civilian casualties and collateral damage to civilian infrastructure resulting from their military operations to end the civil war in Yemen".
A handful of Congressional leaders have sought to shut down US military action in Yemen.
Pompeo’s ‘certification’ is a farce. The Saudis deliberately bombed a bus full of children. There is only one moral answer, and that is to end our support for their intervention in Yemen.— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) September 12, 2018
If this executive will not do it, then Congress must pass a War Powers Resolution. https://t.co/VlYVMChrjA
Pompeo's certification allows the Pentagon to continue fueling coalition jets, and other areas of partnership such as intelligence sharing.
The statements also come as the United Nations has declared the Yemen war the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen admitted on Saturday that “mistakes” had been made in an August air strike that hit a bus and killed 40 children, and pledged to hold accountable anyone who contributed to the error. The rare concession follows mounting international pressure, including from allies, to do more to limit civilian casualties in a civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people and pushed the already impoverished country to the brink of famine, Reuters said.
A U.N. report published Tuesday claims that all sides involved in the conflict in Yemen have committed war crimes — singling out the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition as the worst offender. The 41-page document alleges that forces loyal to the Yemeni government, their Saudi-led backers and the rebel Houthi movement have all failed to minimize civilian casualties. The U.N.-appointed panel accused the Saudi-led coalition of perpetrating the main attacks against civilians.
Saudi warplanes carried out an airstrike against the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah on Thursday, hitting a camp for internally displaced people, and killed at least 31 civilians. The slain included 22 children. 79 civilians were wounded, again overwhelmingly children. According to reporters, multiple attacks took place against the camp. The initial strike sent children scrambling for an evacuation bus, then a subsequent strike hit the bus itself.
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