Mahdi al-Mashat on Sunday termed the US-led blockade against Yemen as “part of its ongoing horrendous crimes” in the war-ravaged country.
Situated at the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, the country has been beset by violence and chaos since 2015, when Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a devastating military campaign to reinstall the former regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Sana’a.
The protracted war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni civilians and spawned the worst humanitarian catastrophe in modern world history.
Al-Mashat, pointing to the criminal collaboration between the US and the Saudi-led military coalition, asserted that the kingdom has “sought to target” Yemeni people with the “American weaponry.”
The Saudi aggression has spawned horrendous human rights abuses and led to the killing of civilians, including women and children, in the Arab country, he noted.
The official referred to the Saudi airstrikes in the afternoon of October 8, 2016, which targeted the packed al-Kubra hall in Sana’a during a funeral, claiming at least 155 lives.
He described the incident as “one of the most heinous crimes” committed against the people of Yemen, which “showed the brutality of the American and Saudi aggression”.
“The pure blood spilled in this particular incident and other such incidents has no price but freedom and independence,” al-Mashat said.
Bombings in Ma’rib
Ever since some regions near the strategic city of Ma’rib were liberated by Yemeni forces, Saudi Arabia has stepped up its military aggression there.
According to Yemeni media reports, Saudi warplanes bombed the oil-rich province at least 24 times early Monday, with al-Abdiyah being struck 21 times, Juba twice and Qaniyah once.
Earlier Sunday, Saudi Arabia admitted that it had bombed the city of al-Abdiyah 118 times in the past four days to prevent the advance of Yemeni army forces and popular committees.
According to reports, Saudi fighter jets also bombed areas in the provinces of al-Bayda and Sa’ada.
Yemeni military sources further said that forces affiliated with the Saudi-led coalition had violated a ceasefire in the strategic Hudaydah province 240 times in the past 24 hours.
The six-year foreign-imposed war has killed tens of thousands of people in Yemen, according to relief agencies.
Multiple UN-brokered talks between the two sides have failed to produce a breakthrough over the years as Saudi-backed foreign mercenaries have sought to inflict harm on the people of Yemen.
The UN children’s agency UNICEF describes the conflict as “a living hell” for children, with 1.8 million under-fives suffering severe malnutrition.
While Saudi-led allies have lost much of the territory they had occupied following the 2015 invasion, Yemeni armed forces and the allied popular committees have grown in strength.