At least 31 civilians were killed in air strikes by a Riyadh-led military coalition fighting in Yemen on Saturday, said the United Nations. The attack, which was termed “shocking” by UN humanitarian chief, comes just hours after Yemeni rebels, known as Houthis, claimed responsibility for shooting down a warplane of the Saudi-led coalition over the province of Jawf.
According to reports the airstrike was carried out in the al-Maslub district of Yemen. According to preliminary reports from the UN, 31 civilians have been killed and at least 12 have been wounded. According to Lise Grande, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, the wounded were taken to hospitals in Jawf and in Yemen's capital, Sanaa.
"Under international humanitarian law parties which resort to force are obligated to protect civilians. Five years into this conflict and belligerents are still failing to uphold this responsibility. It's shocking," said Lise Grande in a statement.
Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed that they have shot down a Saudi-led coalition warplane belonging to the Saudi-led military coalition in the northern province of al-Jawf, according to the reports on February 15.
The Tornado aircraft was downed with surface to air missile in al-Masloub district, according to media outlet citing a statement by the Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saream, without providing any further details.
According to the reports, the fighter jet was part of an operation to support Yemeni government forces, the coalition said in a statement carried by the official of the state media.
The United Nations said in an official report that if the ongoing civil war in Yemen continues till 2022 then it would become the poorest country in the world. The percentage of poverty in the year 2014 was 47 per cent, and it is expected to reach 75 per cent by the end of this year due to the war.
The United Nations Development Program published a report on September 26 which discussed the current scenario of Yemen. The report quoted the UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner who said that the war has made Yemen the 'largest humanitarian crisis in the world'. Yemen is currently among the poorest countries in the Middle-Eastern region and its condition deteriorated even more after the Saudi-led intervention in 2015.
(With Agency Inputs)
(Image Credits: AP)