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article imageSaudi coalition air strike kills 13 civilians in Yemen

By Ken Hanly     Jun 16, 2020 in Politics
This Monday an airstrike by the US-backed Saudi coalition fighting the rebel Houthis in Yemen hit a vehicle in North Yemen. The attack killed 13 people including four children.
UN removed Saudi Arabia from a list of countries that have harmed children in conflicts
On the very same day of the attacks UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres removed the Saudis from the list. A spokesperson for Human Rights Watch said: “The Secretary-General is adding a new level of shame to his ‘list of shame’ by removing the Saudi-led coalition and ignoring the U.N.’s own evidence of continued grave violations against children.”
The Saudi-led coalition often targets civilian infrastructure including schools, hospitals, water treatment plants and markets. For this reason many human rights groups disapprove of the UN removing the Saudis from the list. Some diplomats say that both Saudi Arabia and Israel have put pressure on the UN to stay off the list but the UN has denied there has been any pressure.
Even though the coalition killed 222 children in Yemen last year, Guterres said the Saudi coalition would “be delisted for the violation of killing and maiming, following a sustained significant decrease in killing and maiming due to air strikes” and the implementation of measures aimed at protecting children. The rebel Houthis remain on the list. Gutterres admitted that although more bombs fell earlier in the campaign the bombs were still falling on civilians regularly.
The conflict in Yemen began back in 2014 when Houthi rebels were able to seize most of the north including the capital Sanaa. The Hadi government was forced into exile but a US-backed Saudi coalition intervened to try and reinstate the Hadi government. The situation is complicated by an alliance between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the separatist Southern Alliance which seek a separate state in the south a position counter to that of the Hadi government. The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition. The Houthis are supported by Iran.
According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project the conflict has killed over 112,000 people including 12,000 civilians. Aerial bombardment and intense ground fire has destroyed thousands of buildings and has left half of the country's hospitals dysfunctional. The conflict has also made it very difficult to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic which is spreading throughout the country.
More about Yemen civil war, Yemen air strikes, Saudi air attacks on Yemeni
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