(Saada) The responsibility of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen is “indisputable”, assures the NGO Médecins sans frontières (MSF), which denounced an “unjustifiable” airstrike on a prison held by the Houthi rebels who at least 70 dead on Friday.
Posted at 9:44 a.m.
Faced with the outcry caused by this high toll, the coalition claims that it is not behind these raids and that the Houthis who accuse it are engaged in “disinformation”.
“No one can dispute that it was an air strike, everyone in Saada heard it,” said a member of MSF staff, quoted in a press release from the NGO. “I live 1 kilometer from the prison and my house shook because of the explosions,” he continues, on condition of anonymity.
The NGO, which accuses the coalition of having already bombed “five times MSF structures and hospitals supported by MSF, as well as many other civilian targets”, describes the total chaos in the health infrastructures of Saada with ” wounded lying on the ground” because there are “not enough beds for everyone”.
The Ministry of Health held by the Houthis reports 82 dead and 266 injured, ensuring that victims could still be under the rubble, an unverifiable report immediately from an independent source.
“This is the latest in a long series of unjustifiable airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition against schools, hospitals, markets, wedding parties and prisons”, accuses Ahmed Mahat, head of the MSF mission in Yemen.
On Thursday, the coalition admitted to having hit the port city of Hodeidah in the hands of the Houthis, through which passes most of the international aid to the country facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
At least three children were killed while “apparently playing on a soccer field”, according to the NGO Save the Children, and the internet was cut across the country due to the destruction.
But Riyadh, which since 2015 has been at the head of a military coalition supporting Yemeni pro-government forces against Houthis close to Iran, firmly denies being behind Friday’s attack in Saada.
According to the independent organization Yemen Data Project, coalition raids have caused nearly 9,000 civilian casualties in seven years.