By Brittani Howell
Impunity Watch Reporter, The Middle East
SANA’A, Yemen – Saudi-led airstrikes and shelling by Houthi rebels have killed more than 65 people according to a report from Doctors Without Borders on Friday. Among those killed included at least 20 women and 17 children. According to reports, the airstrikes killed 17 people from one family.
Five of the Saudi-led coalition bombs struck the residential area of Sala. “Those who survived the bombings are searching through the rubble with their bare hands in hope of finding survivors, as well as the bodies of victims of the attack” Salah Dongu’du, a project coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in Tiaz.
Many victims have been unable to reach hospitals. Doctors Without Borders are attempting to provide first aid kits to doctors and nurses so that those who are less critically injured can make it to the hospital receive treatment. Doctors Without Borders admits that this is not enough.
The United Nations has reported that the death toll has risen to more than 4,500 deaths, half of which are believed to be civilian deaths. Amnesty International reported earlier this week that war crimes are likely being committed in this conflict.
According to the World Food Program, Yemen is on the brink of famine. Nearly 10 million children are in need of immediate aid according to UNICEF, the United Nations children agency. As much as, 80% of the population is in immediate need of aid.
Taiz, the cultural capital of Yemen, is the gateway to Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. Many fear an even bloodier confrontation in Sana’a, between the Saudi led coalition and the Houthi rebels, as forces allied with exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi continue to push north. The capital of Sana’a was seized by Houthi rebels almost a year ago.
Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is preparing a 15-day cease fire. The proposal was given to a United Nations envoy for Yemen in Saudi Arabia’s capital on Friday.
The proposal requires that the Houthi rebels and troops loyal to Ali Abduallah Saleh, the former president, end all violence and resume peace talks led by the United Nations.
The ceasefire is to begin when the Shi’ite rebels withdraw their militias from all government and military institutions as well as from all cities and provinces, including Sana’a and Sa’alah.
The proposal also calls for sanctions administered by the United Nations including an arms embargo on Houthi leaders, Saleh, and his sons. The Houthi rebels are also not to interfere with humanitarian aid.
For further information, please see:
Associated Press – Yemen’s President Calls for Ceasefire and Rebel Withdraw – 21 August 2015
Los Angeles Times – Dozens Killed Amid Airstrikes and Fighting in key Yemen City – 21 August 2015
New York Times – Saudis Said to Kill More Than 65 Civilians in Yemen Bombing – 21 August 2015
Reuters – Dozens Killed in Saudi-led Air Strikes in Yemen-aid Group, Houthis – 21 August 2015