Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Reuters, Agence France-Press and Deutsche Welle – 2015-06-02 01:44:56
Saudi Warplanes Pound Sanaa, Killing at Least Eight Civilians
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(June 1, 2015) — Adding to the civilian toll of the 2+ month long Saudi Arabian-led war on Yemen, coalition warplanes today attacked the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, blowing up a military arms depot and setting off explosions near a residential area, killing at least eight civilians and badly wounding 20 others.
Attacks against Sanaa have centered on military sites, but in the ancient site many such sites are on hilltops surrounded by civilian residences, and have caused enormous collateral damage, worsened by months of naval blockade keeping medical supplies in extremely short supply.
The Saudis declared war against Yemen back in March, vowing to reinstall former President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, who resigned in January after his troops lost the capital city to the Shi’ite Houthis. Since then, the Saudis have pounded Houthi forces, and demanded an unconditional surrender to return Hadi to power.
The war has killed large numbers of people, both combatants and civilians, but has done little to change the situation inside Yemen, with Hadi’s remnant factions controlling less territory than ever, and the Houthis remaining de facto rulers of most of the major cities.
Civilian Deaths Reported as
Arab Airstrikes Hit Yemen Arms Depots
Reuters, Agence France-Press and Deutsche Welle
(May 31, 2015) — Several civilians are said to have been killed as Saudi-led airstrikes continue to hit rebel sites in Yemen. France is meanwhile trying to verify a video purportedly showing a French hostage taken by unknown captors.
At least eight civilians were killed and 20 injured on Monday in explosions caused by airstrikes carried out by a Saudi-led coalition on Houthi rebel arms depots in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, according to a medical source quoted by AFP news agency.
Other airstrikes reportedly hit rebel strongholds in the province of Saada and suburbs of the southern port city of Aden, which has seen heavy street fighting between the insurgents and local fighters in recent weeks.
More than a hundred civilians are thought to have been killed so far in the two-month air campaign by Sunni Muslim states, who want to see the restoration to power of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, currently in exile in Saudi Arabia after being ousted by the Shiite Houthi rebels.
Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies also fear that Shiite Iran might be using the rebels as a proxy to gain a foothold on the Arabian Peninsula.
A French Foreign Ministry official has meanwhile said that authorities were trying to authenticate a video purportedly showing a Frenchwoman taken hostage in Sanaa on February 24, along with her Yemeni translator Shereen Makawi.
In the video posted on YouTube, the woman, Isabelle Prime, is shown appealing in English to President Francois Hollande to seek her release. It is the first video to be released by her captors. Prime was working as a consultant for Yemen’s Social Fund for Development when she was captured by unknown gunmen.
In recent years, Yemeni tribesmen have frequently kidnapped foreigners in order to extort services from the government or obtain the release of jailed relatives. They have also often reportedly sold their captives to the Yemen branch of terrorist network al Qaeda.
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