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3 Aug, 2018 18:32

US ‘bears full responsibility’ for deadly airstrikes in Hodeida, Yemen Health Ministry says

The United States should be held accountable for Saudi-led airstrikes that hit a hospital and fish market, killing at least two dozen civilians in the Yemeni port, Health Ministry said as thousands protested the attack.

A spokesman for the Houthi-affiliated health ministry said on Friday that “the United States bears full responsibility” for the deadly attack, adding that “the United Nations, its organizations and the international community have remained silent in the face of the aggression” from the US-backed, Saudi-led coalition that invaded Yemen in 2015.

According to the ministry, at least 55 people, including women and children, have been killed in the airstrikes. Reuters reported 28 were killed in the air raids, while China’s Xinhua said the death toll stood at 70 early on Friday. A ministry spokesman called the bombings a “war crime” and accused the Saudi coalition of engaging in a “double tap strike” aimed at targeting first responders.

Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of Sanaa on Friday to protest the military actions undertaken by the Saudi-led coalition in their country.

US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley expressed concern over the strikes during a Security Council briefing on Yemen on Thursday, as if this was a new development in the three-year conflict. After condemning the Houthi rebels and their Iranian sponsors, Haley noted that the deadly Saudi-led air raids mark a “new day” in Yemen in which civilians are “starting” to be put at risk.

The Wall Street Journal reported in June that the US military is helping the Saudi-led coalition to “fine-tune” its list of targets in Hodeida, reportedly in hopes of avoiding unnecessary civilian casualties. Since at least 2016, US and British military officials have had access to lists of Saudi airstrike targets.

With material and logistical support from the US, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf partners invaded Yemen in March 2015 in hopes of returning deposed President Mansour Hadi to power. Since then, more than 5,500 civilians have been killed and over 9,000 injured, according to the UN.