More than 30 civilians have been killed in air raids carried out by a Saudi-UAE-led military coalition, with the United Nations confirming the death toll as it deplored a “shocking” failure to protect the war-torn country’s unarmed population.
Saturday’s air raids in the northern al-Jawf province came hours after the Houthis said they had shot down a Saudi fighter jet in the same area with an advanced air-to-ground missile.
“Preliminary field reports indicate that … as many as 31 civilians were killed and 12 others injured in strikes that hit al-Hayjah area of the al-Maslub district in al-Jawf governorate,” said a statement from the office of the UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.
The statement said “humanitarian partners” deployed rapid response teams to provide medical assistance to the wounded, many of whom were being transferred to hospitals in al-Jawf, as well as the capital, Sanaa.
The Houthis said women and children were among the dead and wounded in the air raids, while the Western-backed coalition fighting the rebels acknowledged the “possibility of collateral damage” during a “search and rescue operation” at the crash site of the Saudi plane.
A statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency did not specify the fate of the crew of the Tornado jet or the cause of its crash.
Commenting on the killing of the civilians, Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said, “We share our deep condolences with the families of those killed and we pray for the speedy recovery of everyone who has been injured in these terrible strikes.”