Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen kills 29 people
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A suspected airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen killed at least 29 people, including children, in the country’s north, a Yemeni health official said Wednesday.
Abdellah al-Ezi, head of the health office of the northern Saada province, said the airstrike struck a small hotel in a market, wounding 28 other people. Saada, which borders Saudi Arabia, is a stronghold of the Iran-backed rebels, known as Houthis.
Footage obtained by The Associated Press shows a bulldozer removing wreckage and debris from the site of the airstrike.
Ahmed Mohammed, an eyewitness, insisted there were no fighters in the hotel. “This is an act of aggression by the Americans, the Saudis, and the Zionists, and by God’s will we will take revenge one day. And even if we don’t get revenge, our children will,” he said.
Al-Ezi said another airstrike killed three people Wednesday in a different part of the vast province.
The spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
International rights groups have accused the coalition of bombing civilian gatherings, markets, hospitals and residential areas across Yemen since its air campaign against the Houthis began in March 2015. The coalition aims to reinstate the internationally recognized government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Hadi’s forces have been battling the rebels over the past two days east of the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, and in areas close to the Saudi border, leaving more than 100 dead on both sides.
Security officials from Hadi’s forces say their troops have advanced in several areas near Sanaa, which fell to the Houthis in September 2014, but the Houthis say they are still holding onto their positions. Hadi’s government is currently based in the southern port city of Aden.
In the southwestern city of Taiz, more than 80 people were killed on both sides in fighting over the past two days, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The stalemated war has killed more than 10,000 civilians and displaced 3 million others, and has pushed the Arab world’s poorest country to the brink of famine.