Yemen’s Al Masirah TV citing Health Ministry figures stated that the Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen yesterday killed at least 50 people and wounded 77. A harrowingly high amount of those dead are children, who were killed in the attack which targetted the Dahyan market in the Saada Province of Yemen. The place is the stronghold of the Houthi rebels, who are on the opposite side of Saudia’s favor. The airstrike is part of the Saudi-led intervention in the Yemeni Civil War, ongoing between two warring factions in Yemen since 2015. The attack yesterday, according to Saudi Arabia, was in retaliation to a missile attack in the Kingdom on Wednesday, which killed one person who was a Yemeni resident in the area.
Col Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition said that the attack was a “legitimate military action” and it was retaliatory in nature. However, the attack directly targetted a school bus, so a lot of children ended up dead in the strike. While this may not be a formal justification for the children being killed, but al-Maliki, while talking about the attack, also accused Houthi rebels of recruiting children and using them in the battlefields to cover for their actions. Now let’s conflate this statement with the information provided by the ICRC.
This morning a bus carrying children in Yemen was attacked.
Scores of dead and wounded are being treated by our medical teams in Sa’ada the attack in Dahyan Market.
The majority of our patients are under 10 years old.
— ICRC (@ICRC) August 9, 2018
They claim that a majority of the patients were under 10 years of age. Let that sink in. So according to al-Maliki’s accusation and this information, is he in some twisted way trying to justify the murder of innocent young children, most of whom weren’t even 10 years old? If Houthi rebels are allegedly using children as ‘cover-ups’, does it suddenly justify Saudia’s barbarity against innocent young civilians? No matter how many times you reiterate this question, it won’t make sense.
The US has refused to condemn Saudi Arabia’s Yemen airstrike. As they did Saudi Arabia’s erratic measures against Canada in the wake of failing diplomatic relations this past week. Here is what State Department’s Heather Nauret had to say about the attack:
State Dept’s Heather Nauert is not willing to condemn the Saudis for their airstrike on a schoolbus earlier today that killed over 50 children in Northern #Yemen. She wants to wait for the Saudis to conduct their own investigation into the attack. Shameful. pic.twitter.com/ixo57tzfRk
— Walid (@walid970721) August 9, 2018
We are still vexed why U.S, the purported father of human rights, is so silent about these atrocities, which grossly violate human rights.
Unicef put out the following tweet:
We are horrified by a reported attack on a school bus in #Yemen.
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) August 9, 2018
We understand the very real and honorable intentions of people working with UNICEF to help people around the world. But the U.S’s hypocrisy only becomes more glaring when an organization, which is somewhat orchestrated at a higher level to impart the American benevolence, openly condemns the attack. The U.S will never directly condemn their buddy Saudi Arabia. But it will still spearhead organizations, which indirectly makes the U.S the global savior. Again, this is not to belittle UNICEF’s relief efforts worldwide. This observation is merely to be more cognizant of the power dynamics at play between the geopolitical giants and how they chose to condemn atrocities such as the Yemen airstrike.
Feature Image Source: CNN