Report: Over 130 attacks on medical facilities in Yemen war

A database project says it has documented over 130 attacks on medical facilities in Yemen since April 2014 in apparent war crimes by all parties to the conflict

CAIRO -- Over 130 attacks on medical facilities in Yemen’s civil war could constitute war crimes by all parties to the conflict, a database project said on Thursday.

The Yemen Archive said that the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-aligned rebels was allegedly responsible for 72 attacks, while the rebels, known as Houthis, were blamed for at least 52 attacks.

Yemen’s bloody war, which has been fought to a stalemate, has led to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The latest Saudi-led coalition attack on a medical facility occurred on March 26, when a missile struck a gas station at the entrance of a hospital in the direct of Kitaf in the Houthi stronghold of Saada province, killing four children and a health worker, the report said.

The group said three members of the U.N. Security Council may be complicit in war crimes in Yemen. The U.S., U.K. and France were arming Saudi Arabia while it was inflicting suffering on Yemeni civilians, it added.

“For the sake of every Yemeni family, we demand an immediate end to attacks on medical facilities and all civilian infrastructure,” said Abdulrahman Jaloud, director of the Denmark-based group.

Airstrikes and rocket-propelled grenade attacks on hospitals have left patients and medical staff running for their lives, the Yemen Archive said.

One hospital alone in the key port city of Hodeida has been shelled on three separate occasions by Houthi forces, destroying vital medical equipment and setting fire to one of the hospital’s floors, it added.

The Yemen Archive attributed three attacks to al-Qaida militants and the remaining six to other or unidentifiable sources.

The Yemen Archive is an open-source platform that documents human rights violations in Yemen.

The conflict in the Arab world’s poorest nation began with the 2014 takeover of northern and central Yemen by the Houthis, driving out the internationally recognized government from the capital, Sanaa. Months later, in March 2015, a U.S.-supported, Saudi-led coalition launched its air campaign to prevent the rebels from overrunning the country’s south.

Saudi-led airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties and killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. The Houthis have used drones and missiles to attack Saudi Arabia and have targeted vessels in the Red Sea.

Civilians have suffered the most in the conflict, which has killed over 100,000 people, destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure, displaced millions, and pushed the country’s 30 million people to the brink of famine.