SANÁ, Yemen (AP) – Bombings of the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen killed more than 30 civilians on Saturday, including women and children, in a mountainous province in the north of the country, the UN humanitarian chief reported , who cataloged the airstrikes as “scary.”
The bombings happened hours after the Houthi rebels revealed that they had shot down a coalition fighter plane in Jawf province.RELATED
The Saudi state news agency quoted Colonel Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the coalition, saying the “possible collateral damage” of a rescue operation in the area was investigated after the demolition of a Tornado fighter jet belonging to Saudi air force Friday night.
Al-Maliki was quoted as saying that the plane provided air support to government forces fighting the rebels.
The colonel added that the crew of two Tornado pilots managed to expel before impact and said the Houthis opened fire on them. He said the Houthis were responsible for the “life and safety” of the pilots, according to the official Saudi news agency.
Al-Maliki did not indicate whether there were victims or provide more details.
Youssef al-Hadri, a spokesman for the Houthi-administered Ministry of Health, reported that retaliatory bombings by the coalition on Saturday claimed at least 32 lives in Jawf, which is largely controlled by the rebels.
The Save the Children humanitarian group condemned the bombings and considered them a sign that the conflict in Yemen “does not diminish.”
“This most recent attack must be investigated urgently and independently, and perpetrators must be held accountable,” said Xavier Joubert, the director of Save the Children in Yemen.
Joubert urged to stop the sale of weapons to the parties involved in the conflict in Yemen.
“Those who sell weapons to the parties to the dispute must realize that by providing weapons for this war they contribute to making all atrocities like today a common one,” Joubert said.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, pillars of the coalition backed by US forces, have bought billions of dollars in weapons from Western countries, particularly the United States.
For its part, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Lise Grande, said air strikes in the al-Maslub district killed at least 31 civilians and wounded 12 others, according to preliminary reports at the scene.
“Many people are dying in Yemen – it is a tragedy and has no justification,” Grande lamented. “Five years in this conflict and the belligerent parties still do not assume this responsibility. It’s scary. ”
The rebels released images of demolished buildings, shattered vehicles and corpses that, they claim, were of the victims of the bombing. They also revealed images that allegedly show the fall of the Saudi plane and its remains on the ground.
The Yemen conflict began with the taking in 2014 of the capital, Sana, by the Houthis, who control much of the north of the country along the border with Saudi Arabia. A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and made up of most Arab countries intervened in March 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
In a relentless campaign, air attacks led by Saudi Arabia have hit schools, hospitals and weddings and killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. The Houthis have used drones and missiles to attack Saudi Arabia.
The war has killed more than 100,000 people, including combatants and civilians, according to figures from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project group, which tracks reports of incidents of violence in Yemen. The conflict has also generated the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, in which millions of people experience a severe shortage of food and medicine.