UN condemns Yemen strike that killed as many as nine children UN condemns Yemen strike that killed as many as nine children

UN condemns Yemen strike that killed as many as nine children

A child at a hospital after he was wounded in an airstrike in the northern province of Jawf, Yemen, in July, 2020.

As many as nine children were killed following airstrikes in northern Yemen’s Jawf Province Thursday, the United Nations said.

The attack occurred as the victims were traveling by road, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement. Field reports indicate the strikes, which occurred in the Houthi-held Haraad area in Jawf, killed as many as nine children and injured seven, al-monitor.com reported.

“Like all senseless acts of violence against civilians, this is shocking and completely, totally unacceptable,” the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Lise Grande said in a statement on Friday. “We extend our deep condolences to the bereaved and wish all of the injured a full and fast recovery.”

The Houthis blamed the Saudi-led military coalition for the strike, which came a day after the coalition said it intercepted a bomb-laden drone launched by Houthis that was headed toward Saudi Arabia.

The UN reports the Thursday strikes were the third such incident to cause civilian casualties in less than a month. In mid-July, an airstrike killed a woman and seven children in Hajjah Province in northeast Yemen. Days later, another attack in Jawf killed at least 11 civilians, including several children. 

Years of conflict in the region’s poorest country have created what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Nearly 80 percent of the population requires some form of humanitarian assistance.

Last month, Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen, warned the Security Council that UN-brokered peace negotiations between the Houthis and Yemen’s former government backed by the Saudi-led coalition had a limited window of opportunity to produce an agreement.

“I do not want today to sugarcoat things,” Griffiths said, adding that without a peace deal, Yemen will enter a “new phase of prolonged escalation, of the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19, and of severe and threatening economic decline.”

The Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating war against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing back to power the government of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and crushing Houthis. But humanitarian groups and the UN quickly accused Saudi-led forces of breaching international humanitarian law, including bombing schools, hospitals, weddings, and food infrastructure.

The conflict has cost an estimated 100,000 lives. The UNICEF has said “the crisis is of cataclysmic proportions”.

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