AIR STRIKES INCREASING IN YEMEN
- Aid agencies said last week Yemen suffered more air strikes in first half of year than all 2016
- Strikes from Jan to June, 2017 totalled 5,676. All 2016: 3,396
- Protection Cluster in Yemen, led by UNHCR, did not identify any party responsible
- Saudi-led coalition has controlled Yemeni airspace since March 2015
- US has also conducted strikes, drone attacks
An air strike on a hotel near the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, has killed at least 35 people, a local medic said.
A local television channel run by the country’s Houthi rebels, who control Sanaa, blamed the Saudi-led military coalition allied with the Yemeni government for the strike on Wednesday.
“More than 30 martyrs in air strike on small hotel in Arhab,” Houthi-run television station Almaseera said in a newsflash.
Dozens of people were also wounded in the attack, which struck north of Sanaa in the Arhab area.
Hussein al-Tawil, head of the Sanaa branch of Yemen’s Red Crescent, confirmed the death toll as rescuers continued to pull bodies from the rubble.
Reuters reported that a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition was not immediately available.
Hakim Al Masmari, a journalist with the Yemen Post, told Al Jazeera from Sanaa that air strikes targeted several areas of the city.
“It is probably the biggest massacre Yemen has witnessed by the Saudi-led coalition,” Al Masmari told Al Jazeera by phone.
“The air strike targeted a motel late early this morning. It was part of at least 25 air strikes that targeted Sanaa and the outskirts of the city since midnight. The air strikes attacked every part of Sanaa. It was a deadly night,” he added.
More than 10,000 people have been killed and three million displaced from their homes since February 2014, according to the UN.
Yemen, which is on the southern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, has been engulfed in war since September 2014, when Houthi Shia rebels swept into the capital and overthrew President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognised government.
In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition began a campaign against Houthi forces allied with overthrown President Ali Abdullah Saleh in support of Hadi’s government.
Since then, the Iranian-backed Houthis have been dislodged from most of the south, but remain in control of Sanaa and much of the north.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies