Published time: 23 Aug, 2017 11:36Edited time: 23 Aug, 2017 12:47
Up to 60 people have been killed, including civilians, and 13 injured after a small hotel near a Houthi rebel checkpoint collapsed Wednesday following an overnight Saudi-led aerial bombardment, reports the AP, citing Yemeni officials.
The coalition carried out multiple airstrikes overnight killing both Shiite Houthi rebels and civilians, according to unnamed Yemeni officials, cited by the AP.
Pictures from the scene in the aftermath of the bombing show two bodies hanging from the top story of the ruined hotel in the Arhab area, some 20km (13 miles) north of the capital Sanaa.
Some 35 bodies have been recovered from the rubble so far but more casualties are expected to be confirmed, according to Hussein al-Tawil, head of the Sanaa branch of Yemen’s Red Crescent, as cited by AFP.
The air campaign against the Houthi rebels has intensified in recent months with the total number of airstrikes in 2017 reaching 5,676, compared to 3,936 for all 2016, according to a report by the Protection Cluster in Yemen led by the UNHCR.
The report did not attribute responsibility for the airstrikes but the Saudi-led coalition has maintained air superiority in Yemeni airspace since the outbreak of civil war in March 2015.
At least 10,000 people have died since the outbreak of the civil war between the Houthis, who control northern Yemen, including Sanaa, and the internationally-recognized government, led by Abed Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi.
“The killing and maiming of children remained the most prevalent violation” of children’s rights in Yemen, according to a leaked 41-page UN paper, as cited by FP.
“In the reporting period, attacks carried out by air were the cause of over half of all child casualties, with at least 349 children killed and 333 children injured.”
The damning report, scheduled to be published next month, has yet to receive official endorsement from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Despite the collateral damage, western governments continue to supply Saudi Arabia with arms. US President Donald Trump approved a $350 billion dollar arms deal with the Saudis in May, which will take effect over the next 10 years.
While the UK has approved over £3.3 billion (US$4.1 billion) of arms deals with the Kingdom between March 2015 and February 2017, according to activist group Campaign Against The Arms Trade (CAAT).
Despite widespread condemnation from both the UN and the Red Cross, the Saudi-led aerial bombardment and naval blockade has created a three-pronged humanitarian disaster in the country, pushing 17 million people to the brink of starvation, generating the world’s fastest-growing cholera epidemic and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.