Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Saudi Arabia intercepts two missiles fired by Yemen's Houthis on Jazan

Saudi Arabia intercepts two missiles fired by Yemen's Houthis on Jazan

The United Nations has called for an independent investigation into the Saudi-led coalition airstrike on Yemen's Houthi rebels, who say it killed at least 50 people and wounded 77, many of them children.

The ICRC said a strike hit the bus driving children in Dahyan market, in northern Saada.

The rebels say one of the missiles struck a bus taking children back from a summer school picnic.

Abdul-Ghani Sareeh, from Saada health department, told Reuters: "A bus carrying children was targeted today while they were coming from summer school resulting in 43 martyrs and nearly 63 wounded".

He could not confirm when funerals for the victims would take place.

UN-brokered negotiations on Yemen broke down in 2016 amid demands for a rebel withdrawal from key cities and power-sharing with the Saudi-backed government.

More news: Tired Murray pulls out of Washington Open QF

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an "independent and prompt" probe, while State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington was "calling the Saudi led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident". "We take all credible accounts of civilian casualties very seriously".

Injured children, bloodied, bandaged and screaming, lay on stretchers as doctors treated them, friends and relatives having carried some of them in their arms to be treated.

Ahmed al-Mansouri, the hospital's director, condemned what he called the "massacre of children".

Impoverished Yemen has been embroiled in the war pitting the Saudi-led coalition against the Iran-aligned Houthis since March 2015.

The missile was sacked from the rebel-held Yemeni province of Amran towards Jizan, the coalition said. "The attack today was a follow-up process to neutralise that threat". The Saudi-led coalition has described the strikes as "legitimate", claiming that Houthi rebels used the children as human shields.

"Our support to the coalition consists of aerial refueling and intelligence support to assist our partners in securing their borders from cross-border attacks from the Houthis".

More news: Iran sanctions: USA can't stop our oil exports, says minister

He said it had hit "militants responsible for planning and targeting civilians" in the southern Saudi city of Jizan earlier this week, where one Yemeni resident was killed and 11 others were injured by fragments from an intercepted ballistic missile that was launched by the Houthis from neighbouring Amran province. They continue to try to attack civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, for example.

Wednesday's attack brings the tally to 165 rebel missiles launched since 2015, according to the coalition, which that year joined the Yemeni government's fight against Huthi rebels.

The bus was in the Dahyan Market in northern Sa'ada, a Houthi rebel stronghold, when it was attacked on Thursday morning. There was no immediate comment from the Houthis in response to the coalition allegations.

Aid agency CARE International noted that Thursday's strike came a week after the Hodeida bombardment.

The U.S. said it was not involved in Thursday's assault.

"Does the world really need more innocent children's lives to stop the cruel war on children in Yemen?", he added.

More news: Rick Gates, 23 Emails and a Turning Point in the Manafort Trial

The war has left almost 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst current humanitarian crisis.

Like this: