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Saudi jets deliberately strike Yemen industrial facilities: HRW

11 July 2016 22:48

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Saudi Arabia aims to destroy Yemen’s economy by deliberately striking Yemeni factories, warehouses, farms and power plants.

The New York-based rights group made the revelation in a report titled “Bombing Businesses,” which was published on Monday.

The report examined 17 air raids on “13 civilian economic sites” that claimed the lives of 130 civilians and wounded 171 others.

The HRW further said the airstrikes could mount to war crimes.

The “air strikes on civilian factories appear intended to damage Yemen’s shattered economy long into the future,” said Priyanka Motaparthy, a senior emergencies researcher at the HRW, and an author of the 59-page report.

According to the report, many of the facilities, where more than 2,500 people used to be employed, were forced to shut down and hundreds of workers “lost their livelihoods.”

HRW also called for an independent international inquiry into the air raids.

“The airstrikes have compounded an already bleak situation in which more than 80 percent of Yemen’s population requires some form of assistance,” the rights body warned.

Late in June, Amnesty International and HRW called for the suspension of Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council over the indiscriminate airstrikes being carried out in Yemen, saying Riyadh has exploited its position in the 47-member UN human rights panel to torpedo an independent international investigation into possible war crimes in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia is continuing its airstrikes on Yemen in a blatant violation of a UN-brokered truce.

Saudi warplanes bombed the Sanhan district of Sana’a Province on Monday, leaving an unspecified number of civilians injured, according to Yemen’s Khabar News Agency.

Saudi airstrikes also hit the al-Amaleqa camp in the Harf Sufyan district of Amran Province. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The Saudi attacks come despite a ceasefire agreement that had been announced before the start of UN-mediated talks in Kuwait between the representatives of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi — who has resigned as Yemen’s president but seeks to get back to power — and a delegation comprising of the Houthi Ansarullah movement and its allies.

Infighting between Saudi-backed militants

Meanwhile, fierce clashes have erupted between Saudi-backed forces in southern Yemen over money collected from trucks on Sunday.

The clashes broke out between forces loyal to Hammoud al-Mekhlafi on the one side and those loyal to Mokhtar al-Marziqi on the other in the town of al-Turbah in southern Ta’izz Province on Monday. Both groups are fighting under Saudi military leadership.

A local source said a passer-by was killed during the clashes, adding the pro-Mekhlafi forces took control of several areas of the city and closed off its streets.

Saudi Arabia launched military strikes against Yemen on March 26, 2015 in a bid to reinstate Hadi, who was a staunch ally of Riyadh as president.

More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured since the onset of the aggression.

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