Jan 21, 2022 11:29 UTC
  •  Frenzied Saudi bombing of Yemen: Reports of over 150 casualties

Saudi warplanes have bombed homes in Yemen's western city of Hudaydah and a prison in north-western Sa'ada, with initial reports putting casualties above 150 people.

In Sa'ada, Saudi warplanes attacked the main prison, leaving at least 140 people dead or injured, al-Masirah reported. 

An al-Mayadeen correspondent in Yemen said 62 bodies had been pulled out from under the rubble at the prison.

"The hospitals are full of martyrs and the wounded, and we desperately need medicine and medical equipment," Sa'ada Governor Mohammed Jaber Awad said. "Many international organizations had previously visited the prison." 

At least six civilians were killed and 18 others injured after Saudi jets heavily bombed residential areas in Hudaydah late Thursday, Lebanon's al-Mayadeen television reported.

They struck a communications center in the city some 145 km southwest of the capital Sana'a, provincial health office director Ali al-Ahdal told Yemen's al-Masirah television. As a result, a three-story building was leveled to the ground.

Local authorities continue to search for possible survivors and recover the bodies of the victims who were mostly children playing near the building.

A source said incessant overflights by Saudi aircraft are hampering rescue efforts.

The frenzied bombing of Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition has intensified since Yemeni forces launched rare drone and missile strikes against strategic targets deep inside the UAE in retaliation.  

'War crime'

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen's Supreme Political Council, reacted to the Saudi airstrikes against residential neighborhoods in Hudaydah, saying they amount to a “war crime” and are “not forgivable.”

“You should not have continued your aggression and crimes until the present day, if the bombing campaign had worked out,” Houthi addressed Saudi Arabia and its allies in a post published on his Twitter page.

“God willing you will lose in Yemen, just like (the United States of) America, which is arming and aiding you, in Afghanistan…”

‘Saudi-led coalition’s despair’

Hudaydah Governor Muhammad Ayyash Qahim said the latest airstrike exhibited the level of the Saudi-led coalition's despair and frustration. 

“The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and their mercenaries will be held to account for the crimes they have perpetrated against ordinary citizens,” he added.

Qahim said such acts of aggression will not deter Yemeni people from mobilizing forces and participating in the fight against Saudi-paid mercenaries.

On Thursday night, Saudi warplanes carried out a wave of aerial attacks on the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a as well, but there were no immediate reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage.

UN chief alarmed 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday expressed alarm at the continued Saudi airstrikes in Sana’a, Hudaydah and elsewhere in Yemen.

“The secretary-general reiterates his call on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any escalation amid heightened tensions in the region, as well as to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law,” his spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a daily press briefing.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg has just left Riyadh after concluding a visit to Saudi Arabia. He met Saudi Vice Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman and other Saudi interlocutors, Dujarric said.

During his meetings, Grundberg denounced the recent wave of military escalation, including the heavy airstrikes on Sana’a.