Saudi air raids kill 9 family members in northwest Yemen
At least nine civilians have been killed in new airstrikes by Saudi Arabia in the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajjah.
On Thursday evening, Saudi warplanes fired a number of missiles into a residential area in the Bakil al-Mir district of the province, located approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of the capital, Sana’a, leveling a house completely to the ground.
Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the victims as being members of a family.
Separately, at least eight people were injured when Saudi planes struck a refugee camp in the same province.
Three other civilians, among them a woman, lost their lives when Saudi warplanes bombarded several locations in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada.
Yemenis search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed in an overnight Saudi airstrike on a residential area in the capital, Sana’a, May 1, 2015. (© AFP)
Earlier in the day, Saudi jets launched more than a dozen airstrikes against the city of Hudaydah, located 150 kilometers (93 miles) southwest of Sana’a. There were no immediate reports on possible casualties and the extent of the damage inflicted.
On the ground, the Popular Committees backed by Ansarullah fighters and allied with army units are marching through southern provinces. They have purged the al-Masna’ah area in Shabwah Province of al-Qaeda-linked militants, and confiscated their military vehicles.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has offered a five-day halt to the country’s aerial military campaign against Yemen.
Speaking at a news conference in Riyadh on Thursday with US Secretary of State John Kerry, the 53-year-old top Saudi diplomat said the halt would cover all of Yemen but stopped short of announcing a date for the halt.
Tawfiq al-Himyary, a member of the Houthi Ansarullah leadership council, described the offer as an attempt by Riyadh to provide “cover” for its failures during the military onslaught against Yemen.
“Saudi Arabia feels it is in trouble after more than 40 days of aggression,” Himyary said. “It did not reach its stated goals, but killed and displaced thousands of civilians.”
“Saudi Arabia has no right to attack the Yemenis or even to give them any kind of truce,” he added. “There is no trust in this regime at all.”
Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to the country’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.
On April 21, Riyadh announced the end of the first phase of its unlawful military operations, but airstrikes have continued with Saudi bombers targeting different areas across the country in a new phase.
In this file photo, Yemenis search for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes in a village near Sana’a, Yemen. (© AP)
On May 1, the World Health Organization said over 1,240 people lost their lives and 5,044 others were injured in Yemen from March 19 to April 27.
Hundreds of women and children are among the victims, according to the United Nations health agency.