Saudi raids kill over 70 Yemeni civilians in 48 hours

Local media say at least 14 children among 71 victims of blitz targeting Houthi rebels across the country.

Saudi coalition air strike on Yemen''s capital Sanaa
More than 10,000 Yemenis have died since Saudi Arabia intervened in the war [Courtesy of Al Masirah]

At least 71 civilians have been killed in the last 48 hours in air raids carried out by a Saudi-led military coalition targeting Houthi rebels in Yemen, residents and local media say.

Residents told Al Jazeera that several air strikes rained down on the capital, Sanaa, early on Monday, killing at least 11 people, including three children and two women.

Abdul Malek al-Fadhl, a pro-Houthi activist, said two buildings were flattened in Hay Asr, a residential neighbourhood to the west of Sanaa, as coalition raids targeted the home of Mohammed al-Raimi, a local Houthi leader.

Fadhl said warplanes also targeted Raimi’s car as he tried to flee, and first responders who tried to reach the victims.

AL JAZEERA WORLD: The Road to Sanaa (47:29)

The Houthi-run Al Masirah TV network said at least eight civilians, including two women, were killed in strikes in Hodeidah province, 226km west of Sanaa, while four civilians were killed in raids on a government building in the central province of Dhamar.

The Houthi-run Saba news agency reported that at least 48 civilians, including 11 children, were killed in 51 air strikes across Yemen on Sunday. 

Saba also reported that scores of people were injured after four air strikes targeted a public protest in Arhab district, against US President Donald Trump‘s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

There was no immediate comment from the Saudi-led coalition.

According to the medical journal The Lancet, the effect of war on Yemen’s densely packed civilian neighbourhoods has been devastating.

More than 18 million civilians are living in rebel-held areas, with dwindling food supplies and limited medical care.

Torn apart by conflict

Yemen has been torn apart by conflict since 2014, when Houthi rebels, allied with troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, captured large expanses of the country, including Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia launched a massive aerial campaign against the rebels in March 2015, aimed at restoring the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Since then, the Houthis have been dislodged from most of the south, but remain in control of the capital and much of the north.

The Kingdom intensified its embargo on Yemen last month, after Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile towards Riyadh.

Attempting to cut off the alleged supply of weapons to the Houthi rebels from Iran, the blockade has had a devastating impact on millions, pushing more than eight million to within “a step of famine”.

According to the UN, the war has killed more than 10,000 people and injured more than 40,000 to date.

The country is also facing a deadly cholera outbreak, a direct consequence of the war, that has claimed about 2,000 lives and affected more than one million people since April.

Source: Al Jazeera