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In General Statements,News,Statements

Arab Coalition Airstrikes Targeting Civilians

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, expresses its deep concern and condemns the airstrikes that target civilians in Yemen by Arab Coalition airstrikes, causing casualties among civilians, most of them are women and children.

During the past six months of 2017, SAM has documented more than 39 raids in Sa’da, Taiz, Hodiedah and Sana’a governorates, where more than 390 civilians were killed, including 107 children and 98 women, last raids were on houses in Fag Attan neighborhood in Sana’a, on 25 August 2017.

According to eyewitnesses, SAM has interviewed, on 2 a.m. of Monday 25th August 2017, Arab Coalition fighters attacked Fag Attan, near MTN bridge, with several air raids, some of them hit two buildings, including many apartments, in addition to two stories building, killing 17 and injuring 22 others, including Mansour Al-Raimi family, consisting of his wife and five daughters, also couples who married recently, and another IDPs from Taiz, one Palestinian and one Sudanese civilians.

This airstrike comes one day after attacking a motel near a military checkpoint in Assama’, northern Sana’a, killing 34 people in the motel, with contradicting statements about their identities, yet it has been confirmed that they were not wearing the uniform.

According to identical reports received by SAM during the past months, most of the civilian locations that have been attacked during the first half of 2017, belongs to unarmed civilians, far from armed confrontation zone, and does not represent any military risk on AC or legitimate army forces, also no military reason justifies such attacks, such as aal Al-Zurafi house, in  Assafra, Sa’da governorate, which has been attacked on 4 August 2017, Ali Saeed Al-Bareq house, Mauza’, Taiz, attacked on 18 July 2017, and Rashad Mohammed Nagi Al-Mahdi house in Beit Bous, Sana’a, on 9 June 2017, whereas all these locations are far from confrontation zones and no military justification for attacking them.

SAM organization confirm that the humanitarian and social toll of these raids are escalating and became painful, and incurred by civilians who lost their relatives and whole family members; i.e. Al-Zurafi family who lost 14 members, and Al-Bareq family and many others.

SAM organization regrets such high number of casualties among civilians, and devastating consequences of the air raids, where many victims and their relatives will be permanently disabled and will sustain psychological disorders.

SAM organization also expressed its dismay for the indifference shown by the International coalition to many calls made by the organization and by other international organizations, to end attacks on residential areas, and to revise the rule of engagement and avoid targeting of civilians and civilian areas.

SAM organization also noted that the Arab Coalition Team concerned with Assessment of the Incidents, could not stop such mistakes despite its commitment to do so, raising concerns that the Team is not serious or lacks the mandate to stop such crimes, and held responsible accountable.

SAM organization would like to remind that the international humanitarian law, is applicable to all warring parties in Yemen, and prohibits deliberate or indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian objects, and obliges conflicting parties to take maximum precaution measures during the military operation to spare civilians from the fighting consequences and minimize losses among them.

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, calls on the UN, and concerned countries to exert pressure on the Saudi/UAE-led Arab Coalition to commit to the provisions of the international humanitarian law and international law, to prevent targeting of civilians either by AC airstrikes or indiscriminate shelling by Houthis militia on residential areas in Taiz.

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, Genève

26 August 2017