US-backed Saudi Airstrikes on Water Well Kill at Least 30 Yemeni Civilians

September 13th, 2016 - by admin

Jason Ditz / & Ahmed al-Haj / Associated Press – 2016-09-13 22:21:35

US-backed Saudi Airstrikes on Water Well Kill Yemenis

Saudi Airstrikes on Yemen Water Well Kill at Least 30 Civilians
Jason Ditz /

(September 12, 2016) — Yesterday’s Saudi airstrikes against a water well drilling operation near the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa has continued to see its death toll rise through the past 24 hours, and now UN officials are confirming that at least 30 civilians were killed, with 17 others wounded.

The Saudis had claimed yesterday that the drilling site was a “Houthi facility” and that everyone slain was members of the Shi’ite Houthi movement, though this clearly was not the case. The UN faulted them for “unrelenting” attacks on civilians in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s air war in Yemen has been going on for 18 months now, with many thousands of civilians killed in the attacks. Saudi officials have accused aid groups of being biased against them for repeated criticism of the death tolls.

The well drilling operation was an example of Saudis using “double-tap” strategies to maximize death tolls, as they fired a single missile at the target first, and then when villagers mounted a rescue operation they launched another flurry of strikes, killing many more.

UN Says Airstrikes on Yemen
Water Well Reportedly Kill 30

Ahmed al-Haj / Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen (September 12, 2016) — Saudi-led airstrikes on a water well in northern Yemen have reportedly killed 30 people and wounded 17, a UN official said Monday, making it one of the deadliest attacks since peace talks collapsed a month ago.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said in a statement that the casualties in the village of Beit Saadan included first responders and children. The strikes took place on Saturday, on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

McGoldrick said he is “deeply disturbed by the unrelenting attacks on civilians and on civilian infrastructure,” and urges rival parties to resume a cease-fire declared by the UN in April.

Yemen’s official news agency SABA, which is controlled by Houthi rebels, has reported that 100 people were killed or wounded in the airstrikes. Witnesses said an initial airstrike killed 13 people, but then a number of rescuers were killed in subsequent airstrikes. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

The UN statement said it based its findings on its own sources and media reports. The Associated Press was unable to independently verify the death toll. The Saudi-led coalition made no statement regarding the airstrikes, but its spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri, has said before that relief and rights groups are biased and give misleading reports.

Yemen’s conflict pits the internationally recognized government, which is allied with a Saudi-led military coalition, against Shiite Houthi rebels and forces loyal to a former president.

The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis and their allies since March 2015. McGoldrick says the fighting has killed or wounded 10,000 people.

The Houthis, along with allied forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, have also waged cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia. The coalition said Saudi air defense forces shot down a ballistic missile fired from Yemen before dawn on Monday. It says the coalition air force struck the area of the missile’s launching pad. No damage or casualties were reported.

The coalition, which is supported by the United States, has accused Iran of arming the Houthis, something Tehran and the rebels deny. Saudi Arabia and Iran are regional rivals.

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