US-Backed Coalition Bombs Yemen Hospital, Killing at Least Four Children

An airstrike on a hospital in Yemen Tuesday killed seven people including four children, said a humanitarian group.

The global charity Save the Chilren, which supports the medical facility, is calling for a swift investigation into the incident and a suspension of arms sales to all parties to the conflict—including American arms-recipent Saudi Arabia.

“We are shocked and appalled by this outrageous attack,” said Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children, in a statement. “Innocent children and health workers have lost their lives in what appears to been an indiscriminate attack on a hospital in a densely populated civilian area. Attacks like these are a breach of international law.”

“The Saudi-led coalition, which is backed by the United States, is the only party in the war using warplanes, mostly American and British-made fighter jets,” as the Washington Post noted. Moreover, “the United States helps the Saudi coalition warmakers choose their targets,” wrote peace activist and author Kathy Kelly.

Save the Children US
@SavetheChildren

A hospital we support in Saada was bombed today. 7 ppl, inc. 4 children lost their lives. We condemn this attack, particularly as the conflict in Yemen enters its 5th year today. Children, civilians & hospitals are . http://ow.ly/pfHp30ocCCp 

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According to Save the Children, the missile hit a gas station less than 50 yards from the Kitaf Hospital’s main entrance. Open for just 30 minutes when the bombing took place, the hospital was busy with staff and patients entering, said the aid group.

Miles said her agency is providing urgent aid to children who “have the right to be safe in their hospitals, schools, and homes. But time after time, we see a complete disregard by all warring parties in Yemen for the basic rules of war. Children must be protected. We must stop this war on children.”

The escalation in the conflict, which marked its four-year anniversary on Tuesday, has devastated infrastructure of the already impoverished country. It has been marked by attacks on civilian targets including medical facilities and a school bus, as well as accusations of war crimes.

In a Twitter thread, Yemen researcher at human rights group Amnesty pointed out how medical facilities have been repeatedly attacked during the conflict, and said the latest strike “shows that after more than four years of devastating conflict, the coalition is unrepentant in its complete disregard for the laws of war.”

“Deliberately attacking a functioning hospital is a war crime,” she wrote.

Rasha Mohamed
@RashaMoh2

A Coalition airstrike that hit another hospital in northern yesterday, killing 7 people including 4 children, shows that after more than 4 years of devastating conflict, the Coalition is unrepentant in its complete disregard for the laws of war

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Rasha Mohamed
@RashaMoh2

The hospital in question is supported by Save the Children and is located in a remote area in northern in Kitaf . It caters for over 50,000 people and the next closest hospital is 60km away https://www.savethechildren.net/article/seven-killed-bombing-save-children-supported-hospital-yemen 

Rasha Mohamed
@RashaMoh2

A gentle reminder that signed a memorandum of understanding with the @UNHumanRights Special Representative for Children & Armed Conflict to reinforce the “protection of children” affected by the conflict in Yemen

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Rasha Mohamed
@RashaMoh2

In early 2018, fighters have also put hospitals at risk by firing imprecise mortars into civilian areas. @amnesty documented how one struck a hospital in Hays, governorate in March, killing a pharmacist & nurse & injuring a child https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/05/yemen-fierce-new-offensive-displaces-tens-of-thousands-of-civilians-from-hodeidah/ 

Yemen: Fierce new offensive displaces tens of thousands of civilians from Hodeidah

Harrowing civilian accounts of a brutal new offensive in Yemen’s western Hodeidah Governorate that has displaced tens of thousands people.

amnesty.org

Rasha Mohamed
@RashaMoh2

Back in 2016 in @amnesty documented how anti-Huthi forces were stationed near hospitals & harassed & threatened medical workers https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/11/yemen-hospitals-and-medical-workers-under-attack-by-anti-huthi-forces-in-taiz/ 

Yemen: Hospitals and medical workers under attack by anti-Huthi forces in Ta’iz

Anti-Huthi forces in Yemen are shutting down hospitals, threatening medical staff and setting up military positions near hospitals. Medical staff should be protected, not targetted. Read more now.

amnesty.org

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Rasha Mohamed
@RashaMoh2

Over the past 4 years, @Amnesty has repeatedly documented coalition attacks on hospitals, facilitated by -manufactured bombs https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/09/yemen-evidence-indicates-us-made-bomb-was-used-in-attack-on-msf-hospital/ 

Yemen: Evidence indicates US-made bomb was used in attack on MSF hospital

amnesty.org

Rasha Mohamed
@RashaMoh2

International humanitarian law is crystal clear; hospitals carrying out their medical functions are – the rural hospital was clearly a functioning hospital at the time of attack. Deliberately attacking a functioning hospital is a war crime

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“After four years of bloodshed in the Arab world’s poorest country, Yemenis can no longer bear the catastrophic humanitarian impact of the war,” said Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East campaigns director, in a statement on Monday.

“The international community must step up efforts to ensure that civilians are protected, obstacles to humanitarian assistance and arbitrary restrictions on import of essential goods are lifted, and impunity for war crimes and other violations is ended,” she said.

By Andrea Germanos / Creative Commons / Common Dreams

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