At least six civilians were killed and 18 others injured after Saudi jets heavily bombed residential areas in Hudaydah late Thursday, Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television reported.
They struck a communications center in the city some 145 km southwest of the capital Sana’a, provincial health office director Ali al-Ahdal told Yemen’s al-Masirah television. As a result, a three-story building was leveled to the ground.
Local authorities continue to search for possible survivors and recover the bodies of the victims who were mostly children playing near the building.
A source stated incessant overflights by Saudi aircraft are hampering rescue efforts.
In Sa’ada, Saudi warplanes attacked the al-Dhakhira prison early Friday, leaving at least 140 people dead or injured, al-Masirah reported.
“The hospitals are full of martyrs and the wounded, and we desperately need medicine and medical equipment,” Sa’ada governor Mohammed Jaber Awad told the television.
“Many international organizations had previously visited the prison,” he announced.
The frenzied bombing of Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition has intensified since Yemeni forces launched rare drone and missile strikes against strategic targets deep inside the UAE in retaliation.
Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, later reacted to the Saudi airstrikes against residential neighborhoods in Hudaydah, stating that the aerial assaults amount to “war crime” and are “not forgivable”.
“You should not have continued your aggression and crimes until the present day, if the bombing campaign [against Yemen] had worked out,” Houthi addressed Saudi Arabia and its allies in a post published on his Twitter page.
He added, “God willing you will lose in Yemen, just like (the United States of) America, which is arming and aiding you, in Afghanistan…”
Hudaydah Governor Muhammad Ayyash Qahim said the latest airstrike exhibited the level of the Saudi-led coalition’s despair and frustration.
“The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and their mercenaries will be held to account for the crimes they have perpetrated against ordinary citizens,” he added.
Qahim noted such acts of aggression will not deter Yemeni people from mobilizing forces and participating in the fight against Saudi-paid mercenaries.
On Thursday night, Saudi fighters carried out a wave of aerial attacks on the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a as well, but there were no immediate reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday expressed alarm at the continued Saudi airstrikes in Sana’a, Hudaydah and elsewhere in Yemen.
Guterres noted with alarm that missile attacks and shelling continued in several areas in the country. All of these actions have resulted in civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a daily press briefing.
“The secretary-general reiterates his call on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any escalation amid heightened tensions in the region, as well as to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law,” Dujarric said.
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg has just left Riyadh after concluding a visit to Saudi Arabia. He met Saudi Vice Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman and other Saudi interlocutors, Dujarric continued.
During his meetings, Grundberg denounced the recent wave of military escalation, including the heavy airstrikes on Sana’a.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi back to power and crushing the Ansarullah movement.
The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases there.
Despite heavily-armed Saudi Arabia’s incessant bombardment of the impoverished country, the Yemeni armed forces and the Popular Committees have grown steadily in strength against the Saudi-led invaders and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.