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As Saudis Defend Against War Crimes Allegations, Saudi Airstrike in Yemen Kills Entire Family

Published: October 2, 2018
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Source: Mint Press

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

HAJJAH, YEMEN– Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States, carried out an airstrike targeting a displaced family in the Mustaba district in the province of Hajjah, southwestern Yemen early Tuesday morning. A man, his wife, and their nine-year old only-daughter were killed in the strike, along with 10 others.

A 30-year-old witness told MintPress News:

Two airstrikes targeted Hussein al-Hajouri`s house at 2 a.m., killing Hussein and his wife and daughter. We found some parts of their bodies 100 meters from the house that was bombed; some of it is still under the rubble.”   

Rescue efforts were complicated by fear of additional strikes, as Saudi warplanes continued to circle the area after the initial strikes. Saudi Arabia has been know to use double-tap strikes in Yemen, carrying out an initial airstrike and then circling back to target rescuers.

The latest attack comes just hours after Saudi Arabia admitted that its forces have committed what it called “certain mistakes” in Yemen, after increasing pressure from international bodies and human-rights groups that accuse the kingdom of carrying out war crimes in the country.

Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Osaiker Alotaibi told a panel of 18 independent experts on Monday that a coalition investigation had uncovered “the existence of certain unintentional mistakes in a number of these operations,” adding that “the task force recommended that perpetrators should be held to account and victims should enjoy redress.”

In her response to the Saudi Defense Ministry, the panel’s chairwoman, Renate Winter, wondered why schools and hospitals had been targeted repeatedly:

You say it’s an accident. How many such accidents can you bear and how many such accidents can people in Yemen bear?”

Last month, investigators launched an international inquiry into war crimes in Yemen and found evidence of such crimes committed in the country. Their August 28 report said Saudi airstrikes had caused most of the documented civilian casualties.

Since the war began in 2015, the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition has repeatedly targeted displaced civilians. In the most recent such attack before today, airstrikes targeted displaced families near the port city of Hodeida on August 24, killing or wounding 31 people, 24 of whom were children. Many of the victims of the strike belonged to a single family.

More recently, at least two Yemeni civilians were killed and three others wounded when Saudi warplanes struck a vehicle in the city of Abs in Hajjah, on Tuesday.

This week, one person was killed and a number of others sustained injuries after Saudi fighter jets conducted an airstrike on Munirah city in Hodeida, western Yemen. Saudi jets also conducted an airstrike on the residential area of Ghaferah in the Dhahir district in the northern province of Saada, killing a child and wounding several others.

Over 600,000 civilians have been killed or injured in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition began its attacks in 2015, according to Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights based in Sana’a. The U.S.-backed coalition’s blockade on Yemen has also triggered an epidemic of disease and famine across the country.

 

Top Photo | Locals walks among the rubble of Hussein al-Hajouri`s brick and mud home which was destroyed by a Saudi airstrike on October 3, 2018. Photo | Ahmed AbdulKareem

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

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