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Saudi uses white phosphorous, expands war in Yemen

Yemeni fighters have accused Saudi Arabia of expanding the scope of its cross-border attacks into civilian areas far from the conflict zone.

Speaking to Iran’s Arabic-language news channel al-Alam, Houthi fighters’ spokesman Mohammad Abdessalam said on Monday that Saudi fighter jets are pounding villages kilometers inside Yemeni territory — which are away from the conflict zone — with the internationally banned white phosphorous bombs.

Houthi Muslim fighters, whom accuse Riyadh of supporting the Yemeni government in attacks against them, consider the Saudi tactic to hit civilians areas out of the battle zone as an attempt to expand areas involved in the war.

Over the past few days, the Saudi air force has repeatedly attacked the areas of al-Malahaid and the border region of Jabal al-Dukhan with white phosphorous bombs.

While Riyadh claims that its offensive targeted Houthi positions on ‘Saudi territory’, the fighters say Yemeni villages are the main target of heavy bombings and that dozens of civilians have been killed in the cross-border attacks.

White phosphorus, classified as a ‘chemical weapon’ by US intelligence, is an incendiary material that causes horrific burns, severe injuries or death when it comes in contact with human skin. Under the Geneva Treaty of 1980, the use of white phosphorous, which erupts into flame on contact with air, as a weapon is prohibited.

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