The fierce fighting between the Houthi Rebels and the Saudi-led Arab coalition continues to intensify, and Yemeni civilians are the ones suffering.
UN humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick, based in Yemen, issued a statement on Thursday, saying the first strike on Tuesday (December 26) hit a “crowded popular market” in the Taiz province, killing 54 people (including eight children) and injuring 32 others.
The second bombing took place in the city of Al Hudaydah, and resulted in 14 casualties, all from the same family.
Mr McGoldrick says another 41 civilians have been killed and 43 wounded in the past 10 days, pushing the total lives lost past 100 in under a fortnight of fighting.
— OCHA Yemen (@OCHAYemen) December 28, 2017
The Houthi rebels, believed to be backed by Iran, say the coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen began more than 1000 days ago, but it has escalated in the past two months in response to three separate missile attacks from the militia.
The first on November 4, was aimed at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. The intended target for the second on December 1 was the city of Khamis. And last week a missile aimed at the al-Yamama palace in Riyadh, which was hosting government officials, was intercepted.
“These incidents prove the complete disregard for human life that all parties, including the Saudi-led coalition, continue to show in this absurd war that has only resulted in the destruction of the country and the incommensurate suffering of its people,” Mr McGoldrick said on Thursday.
He says it is the innocent civilians of Yemen that are the victims of this “futile military campaign by both sides”.
“I remind all parties to the conflict, including the Saudi-led coalition, of their obligations under International Humanitarian Law to spare civilians and civilian infrastructure and to always distinguish between civilian and military objects,” he added.
Yemen is in the grip of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, with the UN tweeting: “an estimated 22.2 million people need some kind of humanitarian or protection assistance, including 11.3 million who are in acute need. Some 8.4 million are one step away from #famine.”