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article imageSaudi shelling of Yemen marketplace claimed to kill at least 17

By Ken Hanly     Dec 26, 2019 in World
Shelling from Saudi Arabia forces directed at a popular marketplace across the border in Yemen has killed at least 17 people according to local sources. Indications are all killed were civilians. Saudis have not said why they attacked.
The market has been attacked several times by the Saudis
A recent article
said of the attack: ""Twelve Ethiopian migrants were among the killed in the cross-border shelling at Al-Raqu market," two medics and a local resident at the scene told Xinhua by phone on condition of anonymity.The attack also injured over 15 others, the sources said."
The market seems to lack any military significance. However, the market is in the northern Saada Province one of the main provinces controlled by the rebel Houthi movement that the Saudis are attempting to defeat as they support the ousted government of Mansur Hadi. The Houthi movement is supported by Iran and controls much of north Yemen including the capital Sanaa. Being under the control of the Houthi's appears a sufficient reason for the Saudis to attack the market in spite of causing many civilian casualties.
Saudis criticized for killing civilians in Yemen
A great deal of international opposition to the civilian deaths caused by Saudi attacks has led for calls in several nations to stop selling the Saudis weapons. There has been considerable opposition to such sales in the US but Trump in September went ahead with a deal with the Saudis in spite of opposition from US lawmakers as a September article notes: "Under President Donald Trump’s controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Trump will allow U.S. hi-tech bomb to be manufactured in Saudi Arabia, giving the Middle East country unprecedented access to a sensitive weapons technology, prompting Democrats in Congress to sound the alarm.As reported by NBC News, the production arrangement is part of a larger $8.1 billion arms package for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan announced two weeks ago. The Trump administration pressed ahead with the sale without congressional approval, declaring an “emergency” based on what it said was a heightened threat from Iran. "
Humanitarian organizations suspend operations after being attacked
A dozen humanitarian organizations in southern Yemen have suspended operations after being the targets of militant attacks according to the UN. A recent article reports: "The suspension of aid work came after unknown assailants fired rocket-propelled grenades at three aid organizations in the southwestern province of Dhale over the weekend, according to the U.N. Humanitarian Office in Yemen, wounding a security guard and damaging several office buildings.The bombings signaled “an alarming escalation in the risks faced by humanitarian workers” and halted the provision of badly needed aid to 217,000 residents, the U.N. statement said."
Yemeni officials blamed Islamic radical groups for the attack noting that Al-Qaida in Yemen has previously attacked aid organizations accusing foreign-funded humanitarian programs of engaging in anti-Islamic activities. The appended video shows the casualties from a recent Saudi attack.
More about Yemen conflict, Saudi arabia, Houthis
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