News ID: 1056
A top United Nations official in Yemen says airstrikes in which at least 12 civilians were killed on Monday, including children, are an example of the "disregard" for civilians' safety shown by the Saudi-led coalition in the war.
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Publish Date: 09 August 2017

Condemnation Is Not Enough – UN Must End Saudi Brutality in Yemen


The civilians were killed and 10 others wounded in Sa'ada province after attacks on a house and a private vehicle, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said, citing reports from fellow aid groups. On Friday, three women and six children from the same family were also killed in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on their home in the area.
 
The new incidents are an example of the "brutality" of the conflict, McGoldrick said in the statement in which he expressed deep concern. "All parties to the conflict continue to show a disregard for the protection of civilians and the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants in the conduct of hostilities." 
 
But the UN Humanitarian agency should keep in mind that the same brutality is happening in Syria, where the United States and its allies target civilians in their indiscriminate airstrikes. For instance, in the terror-held city of Raqqa there is no obvious specific target for the US-led airstrikes, though the US has been generally targeting ISIL forces within the city to try to back the Kurdish-led invasion. The casualties in this case appear to be overwhelmingly civilians. The Syrian government has complained many times to the UN Security Council about the US airstrikes, saying they are excessively targeting civilians and basic infrastructure, but to no avail.
 
Tragically, the only thing the UN has done thus far is to condemn these repeated killings – even though the world body is fully in the know that the unprovoked aggression against Yemen is for all the wrong reasons. The unprovoked conflict is in fact a smokescreen. The alliance between Saudi, American and Israeli interests gives the false story about the alleged Iranian takeover of Yemen additional legs, passed on to "fakestream” media from Tel Aviv. Fanning a bogus Shiite-Sunni conflict seems to be a great idea for Riyadh, enthusiastically seconded by its protector and close ally, Israel.  
 
With these in mind, the blitz boys of so many Arab and Western states are attacking and destroying Yemen’s lifelines for all the criminal reasons. This unqualified alliance stems from motives for regional domination and more. They want to split Yemen, with no intention to comply with International Humanitarian Law, let alone take feasible measures to minimize harm to civilians.
 
Little wonder the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross say they condemn these atrocities and they are extremely worried about the severe damage caused by the Saudi-led attacks on civilian infrastructure. The destruction of key logistic infrastructure, including airports, seaports, bridges and roads is having alarming consequences on the civilian population. The humanitarian situation has now become catastrophic. 
 
The current conflict has already caused extreme hardship for the population across the country. The destruction of logistic infrastructure means countless lives are now more at risk, and the UN can no longer afford to stand and watch as people suffer and die of preventable causes. The world body has a duty to demand that robust and unobstructed channels for the provision of humanitarian assistance are opened and respected by the war-mongers in this increasingly desperate situation. 
 
The UN should also realize that condemnation per se is not enough. There is an urgent need to a halt in the war. The UN should call for an end to the criminal strikes against civilians. It’s the only way to ensure no more lives are lost in the blockaded country.
 
There is just one added piece of information that the world should know: So far the Saudi-led, US-backed airstrikes have failed to force Yemen into submission. The country is facing a humanitarian disaster. Aid agencies say the air and sea blockade is preventing the country from importing food on which it is wholly reliant. Hospitals are closing because they have no medicine and no fuel for generators. But the nation and the resistance group of Ansarullah are still standing.
 
The continuing national tragedy of Yemen must not be overlooked. Women and children have borne the brunt of the increase in civilian casualties, with UN blaming the use of improvised explosive devices and aerial operations in populated areas for the jump. The coalition has hit markets, hospitals, clinics, schools, factories, wedding parties and hundreds of private residences in villages, towns and cities. And it continues to do so "with unacceptable regularity,” according to the UN.
 
For all the Saudi diplomatic posturing, the massacre of defenseless civilians is state-sponsored murder in its most perfect form. The International Law is clear: Saudi Arabia and its allies have no right to drop bombs over civilians. The airstrikes are lawless and unaccountable to the United Nations. The war benefits terrorist groups like ISIL and Al-Qaeda. In fact, it is compounding rather than diminishing the threat of international terrorism.
 
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