Iran strongly condemns Saudi airstrike on residential building in Yemen

25 August, 2017, 01:40 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Civilians killed in air raid on Yemen capital witnesses

Houthi rebels in Yemen said airstrikes by a Saudi-led military coalition near the capital Wednesday killed and wounded at least 71 people, including more than 35 dead at a hotel, in the latest surge of violence in the almost 2½-year war.

Tensions between Yemen's Houthi rebels and their ally deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh have reached boiling point in recent hours threatening to erupt into armed conflict between the two sides in the rebel-held capital Sanaa.

An airstrike blamed on a Saudi-led coalition has killed at least 48 people at a hotel on the outskirts of the capital, officials in Yemen said Wednesday.

Yemeni Red Crescent workers and civilians stand at the site of an air raid in the Arhab area, north of Sanaa, where a coalition has been bombing Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

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The Houthis, who control Sanaa and northern Yemen, are fighting the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is backed by the Saudi-led military alliance.

They said an estimated number of 60 were killed in the strikes on Wednesday morning.

Sanaa, which is home to the country's anti-government Huthi rebels.

Saudi officials have insisted their aircraft avoid civilian targets, but hospitals, schools and other civilian facilities have been struck by Saudi warplanes.

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The United Nations says the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn Middle Eastern country is the worst in the world, and 10 million people need immediate assistance. Al-Masira TV, ran by Houthi rebels, accused the Saudi-led forces of deliberately targeting the hotel, saying the death toll rose to "46 martyrs", without differentiating between civilians and fighters.

The conflict has so far killed over 10,000 civilians, displaced 3 million people and pushed the impoverished nation to the brink of starvation.

The attacks led Saleh to back the Houthis, despite him having fought viciously against the Houthi movement when he was in office.

Hours later, Sanaa-based general prosecutor Abdel-Aziz al-Baghdadi announced that he is taking legal measures against dozens of Saleh's party members over allegations that they harmed national security and spread false news.

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