Fifty people died in a bus attack in Yemen and 77 were injured, most of whom were children, the International Committee of the Red Cross stated, citing officials. The Saudi-led coalition has called the attack “legitimate.”
The attack took place in Dahyan Market in northern Saada, a Houthi rebel stronghold, on Thursday morning.
The Saudi-led coalition later said the airstrikes were aimed at missile launchers used to attack the southern Saudi city of Jiza, claiming its strike constituted a “legitimate action.” It went on to accuse Houthi rebels of using children as human shields.
The tragic incident has prompted the ICRC to once again call for the protection of civilians during conflicts. “Twenty million Yemeni people are in need of [humanitarian] aid. The ICRC has always called upon all parties of the conflict to [find] a political solution… in order to curb worsening humanitarian conditions,” Mirella Hodeib from the ICRC earlier told RT.
It’s not the first time the coalition has hit a residential area this month. Just one week ago, an air raid in Hodeidah seaport claimed the lives of 55 civilians. An additional 170 were wounded.
“We see violations across the country and it’s really sad to speak about civilian casualties in a matter of less than a week. So for us, this is painful…this is just horrific,” Hodeib said.
Thursday’s attack is the latest in Yemen’s ongoing, brutal civil war. But, despite the conflict having started in March 2015, Western governments and media outlets have largely turned away, preferring to prioritize the Syria conflict over the plight of Yemeni civilians who face extreme hunger, a lack of medical supplies, and have endured a major cholera outbreak.
The apparent desire by the US and UK to ignore the tragic reality faced by Yemeni civilians is likely due to the fact that both countries are in the very lucrative business of selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. In March, Donald Trump touted $12.5 billion in finalized arms sales to Riyadh, a move which prompted Amnesty International to speak out against “irresponsible arms flows” to the Saudi-led coalition, which has “resulted in enormous harm to Yemeni civilians.” The $12.5 billion amount praised by the president is part of a wider $350 billion arms deal struck between the two countries last year.