Sana’a (GPA) — The international Saudi-led Coalition against Yemen attacked another two buses full of internally displaced people as they fled the Coalition’s airstrike campaign in Hodeidah. Today’s attack makes it clear the Coalition has a policy of targeting anyone who attempts to flee the U.S.-backed Saudi and Emirati aggression along the west coast.
19 were killed and at least 30 were injured in today’s attack. Even hours later, first responders and reporters ran into trouble entering the scene due to the Saudi planes continuous circling. It’s common for Saudi Arabia to conduct “double-tap” airstrikes which maximize the casualty count in each attack while targeting ambulances and the press.
According to a United Nations team of experts, these double-tap strikes indicate that the Coalition makes conscious decisions to attack civilian targets by quite literally doubling down.
This isn’t the first attack of its kind. In fact, the Saudi-led Coalition routinely targets both internally displaced people and buses packed with children.
- In June, Coalition warplanes attacked a bus full of civilians fleeing the airstrikes in Hodeidah province killing nine and injuring 11.
- In August, the Saudi coalition bombed a bus full of children in Saada province heading to summer camp killing 51 and injuring 79 — mostly children. Riyadh initially defended the attack as a legitimate military action.
- In April, Coalition planes targeted a refugee camp in Hajjah province killing 14 — mostly children and what appeared to be an infant.
A Week Full of Attacks on Civilians and Yemen’s Water Supply
This attack on internally displaced people today is just the latest in a deadly week for Yemen.
On Monday, Coalition planes targeted a bee farm in Hodeidah with airstrikes killing an entire family of five. Another attack by warships on a civilian area off the coast of Hodeidah killed three.
On Wednesday, the Coalition decided to target a mosque which killed another five civilians.
Later in the week, Saudi Coalition warplanes attacked a home in Hodeidah killing at least four civilians. Double-tap airstrikes targeted the ambulance crew to prevent rescuing the injured.
Yemen’s Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that warships off the coast of Hodeidah targeted Durhami General Hospital including the maternity and children’s wards — all of which was full of patients and hospital staff. The number of those killed is unknown at this point.
On Friday, airstrikes targeted a water reservoir on Kamran Island off the Yemeni coast. Yemen’s Ministry of Water and Environment condemned the attack and all previous attacks on the Kamran water treatment facility. It’s common for the Saudi Coalition to carry out airstrikes against water sources across Yemen.
In July, coalition warplanes destroyed a major water project in Saada province which left over 10,000 people without access to clean water. The constant attacks on water systems have prompted condemnation from the United Nations — mostly because they’re the ones footing the bill.
UNICEF deplores in the strongest terms yet another attack on vital and lifesaving water systems in Yemen. A large water facility in Sa’ada, northwest of the country, came under attack this week. This is the third such attack on the same facility. More than half of the project is now damaged, cutting off 10,500 people from safe drinking water. Continuous attacks on water systems in Yemen are cutting off children and their families from water; increasing the likelihood of water-borne diseases spreading in the war-torn country. For families in Yemen, these crumbling basic services, are a matter of life and death.
The UNICEF statement also mentions that two separate Saudi attacks on a water project in March cost the UN $20,000. Last week’s incident will cost the UN $300,000.