Airstrike Causes Child Victims in Yemen

The aftermath of a petrol station bombing in Taiz The aftermath of a petrol station bombing in Taiz © Save the Children 2019

27 May 2019

On Monday, an airstrike in the rebel-held Yemeni city of Taiz claimed the lives of 12 civilians.

The attack took place at a petrol station next to a local hospital, seen by  human rights groups as a breach of international law. The United Nations estimates that more than  27 children in Taiz have been killed over the last ten days alone. It is likely that the numbers are even higher, as a final confirmation is still not concluded. Since March 2015, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has confirmed 7,300 children killed or gravely injured in Yemen. The violence is the result of a four-year conflict between those in support of Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Houthi opposition groups.

The site of the petrol station where is a mere 164 feet from the entrance of the Kitaf Rural Hospital. It is suspected that the attack was conducted by a Saudi-led coalition in support of the Yemeni government. Though the hospital has been “de-conflicted,” in which warring parties have been directed to avoid any military action within  a 100-metre radius, the lives of children and health workers have continued to be subjected to attacks. The coalition iis the only group with planes to perform such airstrikes and has a history of attacking markets, schools, hospitals, and neighbourhoods.

UNICEF and other human rights organizations have publicly condemned the coalition’s actions, accusing them  four war crimes by targeting the vicinity of the hospital. “Nowhere is safe for children in Yemen. The conflict is haunting them in their homes, schools, and playgrounds,” said UNICEF Chief Henrietta Fore. “We, once again, urge all warring parties in Yemen and those who have influence over them to protect children at all times and keep them out of harm’s way.” Mark Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, reminded President Hadi and the Houthi opposition of the Stockholm Agreement, which includes steps to be undertaken to achieve a ceasefire in Taiz. The UN is prepared to continue efforts for sustainable political solutions in Yemen.



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