With failure staring them in the face in their ill-conceived military campaign against Yemen, the Saudi regime has intensified attacks on civilians. Their latest outrage was committed on October 8 when more than 140 civilians were killed and some 525 injured in a missile strike on a gathering at a funeral ceremony. The Saudis have murdered more than 10,000 civilians in Yemen since March 2015. There are 22 million people facing starvation.
Sunday October 09, 2016, 11:07 DST
Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of the capital, Sana’a today to condemn a Saudi air strike on a funeral gathering that left hundreds of civilians dead or injured.
Called by Yemen’s Supreme Political Council a day earlier, demonstrators gathered outside the United Nations office in Sana’a to express outrage at the continuing Saudi aggression the latest of which resulted in the killing of 140 people and left another 525 wounded on October 8. The Saudi air strike hit a community hall in southern Sana’a, where a funeral for the father of Interior Minister Jalal al-Roweishan was being held.
In callous disregard for civilian life, Saudi missiles deliberately targeted the hall where thousands were gathered for the funeral ceremony. Perhaps the Saudi aggressors thought there might be high profile members of Ansarallah movement. While this may have been true, as was evident from the death of Sana’a Mayor Abdel Qader Hilal who was at the gathering, to deliberately target such a ceremony reflects the depth of depravity to which the Saudi regime has sunk.
The October 8 missile attack resulted in the highest number of casualties in a single strike since the Saudis launched their murderous assault on Yemen on March 26, 2015. So far more than 10,000 civilians have been killed and tens of thousands injured.
Prior to this latest missile strike, the most deadly strike had occurred in September 2015 when Saudi jets bombed a wedding party in the town of Mokha in the southwestern province of Ta’izz. On that occasion more than 130 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed.
With no let up in Saudi aggression against Yemen, several UN bodies have called for an investigation into what they say may amount to Saudi war crimes in Yemen. On the more than 10,000 people killed so far, most are civilians, especially children. There are also millions of children starving to death because of the tight siege the Saudis and their allies have imposed in Yemen.
Aware of the rising civilian death toll and the potential for American officials being implicated in Saudi war crimes, US officials have started to distance themselves from Saudi actions.
White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement released yesterday that Washington was reviewing its support for the Saudi war.
"US security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check," Price said in a statement. "We are deeply disturbed by reports of today's [October 8] air strike on a funeral hall in Yemen, which, if confirmed, would continue the troubling series of attacks striking Yemeni civilians," he noted. "In light of this and other recent incidents, we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led coalition."
The Ansarallah movement announced today that it would take retaliatory action against Saudi forces. Immediately a number of rockets were fired at Saudi military positions.
Yemen’s al-Masirah television announced that Yemeni armed forces fired missiles at al-Karas military base in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern region of Jizan, killing 25 Saudi troops and injuring tens of others. The TV further reported that a number of Saudi military vehicles were also destroyed in the operation.
The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council has also expressed grave concern at the rising civilian death toll and called for an investigation into Saudi war crimes. The Saudi regime has blocked all such investigations so far, aware that it would expose Saudi officials to war crimes charges.