DUBAI: Thirty-one people were killed in air strikes on Yemen on Saturday, the United Nations said, the victims of an apparent Saudi-led retaliation after Iran-backed Huthi rebels claimed to have shot down one of its jets, reports AFP.
The Tornado aircraft came down Friday in northern Al-Jawf province during an operation to support government forces, a rare shooting down that prompted operations in the area by a Saudi-led military coalition fighting the rebels.The deadly violence follows an upsurge in fighting in northern Yemen between the warring parties that threatens to worsen the war-battered country’s humanitarian crisis.
“Preliminary field reports indicate that on 15 February as many as 31 civilians were killed and 12 others injured in strikes that hit Al-Hayjah area... in Al-Jawf governorate,” the office of the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen said in a statement.
Lise Grande, the UN coordinator, denounced the “terrible strikes”.
“Under international humanitarian law, parties which resort to force are obligated to protect civilians,” she said.
“Five years into this conflict and belligerents are still failing to uphold this responsibility. It’s shocking.”
The rebels reported multiple coalition air strikes in the area where the plane went down, adding that women and children were among the dead and wounded, according to rebel television station Al-Masirah.