Comment by the Information and Press Department on civilian casualties in Yemen

Friday, 10 August 2018 18:00

Moscow is deeply concerned over the continued loss of civilian life as a result of the ongoing armed conflict in Yemen.

Reportedly, a civilian bus was attacked from the air in the northwestern province of Saada on the morning of August 9. At least 50 people were killed and 77 wounded, most of whom were children and teenagers.

Several days before that, on August 2, dozens of civilian casualties resulted from a similar strike on a fish market and a hospital in the town of Hodeida on the Red Sea coast.

Leaders of the Houthi movement Ansar Allah, which controls the areas where these shocking events took place, put the blame for what happened on the Saudi Arabia-led Arab coalition. At the same time, Riyadh categorically denies that its forces were involved in these incidents, claiming, in particular, that the target of the air strike on Saada was a missile launcher that was used to attack the Saudi province of Jazan the day before. It has also been stated that on August 2 the “coalition” air force did not conduct any military operations in the vicinity of Hodeida, and the attack on the hospital and the market was allegedly staged by the Houthi themselves using mortars.

A thorough and comprehensive investigation of these tragic incidents is essential. Those responsible for killing and wounding innocent people should be held accountable. At the same time, we re-issue our call to the warring parties in Yemen to strictly observe the provisions of international humanitarian law and to take urgent measures that would help avoid such tragedies in the future. We continue to believe that the speedy cessation of bloodshed in Yemen and the settlement of all existing disagreements at the negotiating table on the basis of mutual consideration of the interests of the main political forces of that country is the only reasonable way to put an end to the suffering of peaceful Yemenis.

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