Thursday, September 22, 2016

Probably hit in error: Saudi-led raids kill 20 civilians in Yemen rebel port

Saudi-led air strikes killed 20 civilians in the rebel-held Yemeni port city of Hodeida late Wednesday just hours after the rebels celebrated the second anniversary of their seizure of the capital, a government official said.

The raids hit the Suq al-Hunod district of the Red Sea port, the official in the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi which is supported by the Saudi-led coalition told AFP.

The strikes were also reported by the rebel administration in the capital Sanaa, which reported civilian casualties without giving a specific toll.

The loyalist official said the residential neighbourhood was "probably hit in error."

He said the presidential palace in Hodeida was also hit.

Dr Khaled Suhail of Hodeida`s Al-Thawra hospital said his facility alone received 12 dead and 30 wounded from the strikes.

The Saudi-led coalition has been repeatedly criticised for the high civilian death toll from its 18-month-old bombing campaign in support of Hadi`s government.

More than 6,600 people have been killed since the intervention began, the majority of them civilians, according to the United Nations.

The intervention has pushed the rebels out of much of the south, but they remain in control of nearly all of Yemen`s Red Sea coast as well as the capital Sanaa and much of the central and northern highlands.


  1. At least 25 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed and over 70 more were wounded during a Saudi-led Arab coalition aerial strike on a city in Yemen, local government sources told EFE on Thursday...

    The bombing took place on Wednesday night in the city of al-Hudaydah which is under the control of government-opposed Houthi rebels.

    The aerial attack struck and destroyed seven residences located in the popular neighborhood of Suq al Hunud according to a spokesman of the provincial office of Yemen's Ministry of Health.

    Among the wounded, 23 are in a serious condition, so it was likely the final death toll would increase.

    Al-Hudaydah is the largest port on the north Yemen Red Sea coast, some 220 kilometers (137 miles) west of Yemen's capital Sanaa and is therefore of great strategic importance.

    The Suq al Hunud attack coincided with another Arab League aerial bombing at the al-Hudaydah Central Security barracks, which is controlled by the Houthi militia and their allies.

    It was yet unknown if this second bombing caused any casualties.

    The so-called Arab Alliance launched a military offensive in Yemen in March 2015, in response to the rebel advance towards the southern city of Aden, forcing Yemen's president, Abdo Rabu Mansur Hadi, to flee to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

    1. The United States Senate on Wednesday voted against legislation that would have blocked the sale of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, clearing the way for the $1.15 billion sale to go through, Reuters reports...

      The vote tally was 71 against the legislation and 27 for.

      The legislation was introduced by senators Chris Murphy (D) and Rand Paul (R) as concerns mount over Saudi's role in Yemen.

      A report published in March of last year showed that Saudi has become the world's largest arms importer, and critics of the sale fear that it will only fuel the arms race in the tumultuous Middle East.

      Supporters of the deal argue that the sale would be a show of support to one of the US's biggest allies in the Middle East.

      Speaking about the legislation, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that "This motion comes at a singularly unfortunate time and would serve to convince Saudi Arabia and all other observers that the United States does not live up to its commitments."


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