The Saudi army has conducted an artillery attack on a residential area in Yemen’s northwestern Sa’ada province, killing at least five civilians and wounding 11 others.
Yemen’s al-Masirah TV channel reported that the shelling targeted the border town of Manbeh on Friday.
Seven years of the Saudi-led war on Yemen has pushed the Middle East’s poorest country to the brink.
On Friday, the United Nations’ top humanitarian official in Yemen was quoted as saying that while widespread famine was averted in the country earlier this year, the situation is fragile and many essential programs remain at risk of further cuts.
“It’s not enough that we just got that one push, we need a continuous stream of support coming in over the next weeks into 2022,” David Gressly told VOA. “And until this crisis is solved politically, this situation on the ground will persist.”
Efforts to broker a nationwide ceasefire, reopen Sana’a airport and ease restrictions on the flow of fuel and other imports through Hudaydah port have been unsuccessful amid a Saudi-led siege.
More than 20 million Yemenis – in a population of around 30 million – need humanitarian assistance. The World Food Program says 16 million of them are “marching towards starvation,” due to a combination of conflict and crippling siege.
The situation of children is especially critical. The UN says one child dies every 10 minutes from preventable causes, including malnutrition and vaccine-preventable diseases.
Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allied states such as the UAE, and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western countries.
The aim was to return to power the former Riyadh-backed regime and crush the popular Ansarullah movement which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.
The war has stopped well shy of all of its goals, despite killing tens of thousands of Yemenis and turning entire Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Meanwhile, Yemeni forces have gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the impoverished country.