MSF hospital in Yemen hit by Arab-coalition air strikes

At least one person injured in bombing of clinic in northern province of Saada, medical aid group says.

Yemeni students protest ongoing Saudi-led coalition airstrikes
MSF has published photos of the hospital struck by Saudi-led coalition forces in Yemen on social media [MSF]

A Yemeni hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been hit by a series of Arab-coalition air strikes, the medical aid group has said, the latest bombing of a civilian target in a seven-month air campaign.

At least six people were injured during the air strikes. 

Speaking to Al Jazeera, MSF spokesman Hassan Boucenine said the overnight attack “must have been deliberate”, as the group had provided the Saudi-led coalition with the coordinates of its facility in Saada only two weeks ago.

“We give GPS positions, all the positions, of our hospital to the coalition head, and we renew them every month,” he said, adding that “the latest one was done two weeks ago”.

Saying that coalition forces “know it is an MSF hospital”, he added: “There is no reason – ever – to commit a war crime. To target a hospital. There cannot be any good reason.”

The Saudi-led coalition of Arab states launched an air campaign against Shia Houthi rebels and their allies in late March in support of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Saada is the stronghold of the Iran-backed Houthis who overran the capital unopposed in September 2014, before advancing in several Yemeni provinces.

‘War crime’

Saying that it “may amount to a war crime”, Amnesty International called for an independent investigation into the attack. 

“The attack on Haydan Hospital appears to have been an unlawful attack causing harm to civilians and civilian objects,” said Philip Luther, director for the Middle East and North Africa at the UK-based rights group, Amnesty International.

“The consecutive air strikes show deliberate targeting of the medical facility. This is another sad day for civilians.

“Hospitals and medical units must be respected and protected in all circumstances – they only lose their protection against attack if they are used for military purposes.” 

Luther said that the attack on the hospital “means the loss of vital humanitarian treatment for civilians across four directorates of northern Yemen”. 

Air raids have been blamed for scores of civilians casualties since March.

In Afghanistan, at least 30 people were killed earlier this month in the US bombing of an MSF hospital in Kunduz.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies