Saudi Arabia has since 2015 led a coalition that supports Yemeni pro-government forces against Houthi rebels close to Iran. The rebels, who control much of the north of the country, blamed the coalition for the bombardment.
In more than seven years of war, all parties to the conflict have been accused of
war crimes by experts from the UN. Implicated for multiple
burrs, the military coalition recognized
errors and accuses the rebels of using civilians as human shields.
L’UN has been trying in vain for several years to end this devastating conflict which, according to her, has killed 377,000 people and pushed a population of 30 million to the brink of large-scale famine.
The strike on a prison in Saada, a Houthi stronghold in the north, killed at least 70 people and injured 138, according to the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
This assessment concerns only one hospital in Saada,
two other establishments which received many injured.
Search continues in the rubble, added MSF.
Eight NGOs, including Action contre la Faim, Oxfam and Save the Children, said in a joint statement that the dead would include migrants, denouncing a
blatant indifference for the lives of civilians.
The coalition, of which the United Arab Emirates is a part, denied targeting the Saada detention center, denouncing a
disinformation of the Houthis.
In a statement, quoted by the official Saudi news agency SPA, the anti-rebel military alliance said it had examined the allegations, before concluding that they were
The rebels broadcast a video showing images presented as the consequences of the strike in Saada: destroyed buildings, rescuers clearing bodies and mutilated corpses.
The United States called for
de-escalation. The general secretary of the UN, Antonio Guterres, condemned him
Saudi-led coalition strikes and claimed
Iran also condemned the strikes and warned that the bombings would make the peace process
more difficult in war-torn Yemen.
On Thursday, the coalition confirmed on the other hand that it had targeted the port city of Hodeïda in the hands of the Houthis, through which passes most of the international aid intended for the country, confronted with one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
At least three children were killed while
they were apparently playing on a nearby soccer field when the missiles fell, according to the NGO Save the Children.
The coalition said it struck in Hodeidah a
hub of piracy and organized crime. After the raid, the internet was cut in the country and was still not restored on Saturday.
In Saudi Arabia, the air defense forces intercepted and destroyed on Friday evening a missile fired from Saada towards the region of Khamis Mushait (south), which is home to a large air base, according to the coalition.
Coalition raids have intensified in recent days in Yemen after the Houthis claimed responsibility for the attacks that left three people dead in Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates. The Gulf country had warned that it would retaliate.
On January 3, the Houthis hijacked an Emirati-flagged vessel in the Red Sea, further escalating tensions as the coalition gains ground in disputed provinces.
The coalition then warned that it would bomb the ports of Hodeida which it said had been militarized by the rebels and their Iranian partners.
After their capture of the capital Sanaa in 2014, the rebels managed to seize large swaths of Yemeni territory, particularly in the north.