Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Anti-Houthi coalition denies targeting hospital in north Yemen
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Yemenis unload food parcels provided by the Red Crescent on October 28, 2015, in the southern port city of Aden. (AFP PHOTO / SALEH AL-OBEIDI)

Yemenis unload food parcels provided by the Red Crescent on October 28, 2015, in the southern port city of Aden. (AFP PHOTO / SALEH AL-OBEIDI)

Riyadh and Taiz, Asharq Al-Awsat—Arab coalition warplanes targeted a farm housing Houthi rebels in northern Yemen on Monday rather than a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, the spokesman told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Speaking via telephone, Maj. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said coalition jets launched a raid on a farm in Sa’ada in northern Yemen on Monday housing militants and military vehicles belonging to the Houthi movement, denying claims of targeting a hospital operated by the international relief organization.

Coalition jets have not targeted any civilians since the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthis, codenamed Operation Decisive Storm, started in late March, Asiri said.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Wednesday the destruction of a Doctors Without Borders- run hospital in the Houthi stronghold, an attack he blamed on the Saudi-led coalition.

“Air raids on Sa’ada province are continuous and the coalition only targets sites after identifying them on the ground according to accurate information,” Asiri said.

According to the spokesman, militants targeted by the coalition jets were preparing an attack on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen.

Only one week before the attack took place, the relief organization informed the coalition of its location inside the northern province and gave it the coordinates of the hospital, Asiri said, dismissing the accusation as “desperate.”

He said: “The strategy of the coalition forces since the start of Operation Decisive Storm has been not to target civilian residences and hospitals at all, concentrating instead on rebel positions, command and control centers and weapons depots.”

Asiri urged international organizations, including the UN, to visit Yemen in order to monitor the violations which, he said, although committed by the Houthi militias are attributed to the coalition.

Meanwhile, Saudi-led warplanes dropped weapons and ammunition to government loyalists battling Houthis in Taiz on Wednesday.

The airdrops landed in the southern Dhubab district after Houthis were driven from the southern area, military sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Saudi Arabia has been bombing the Houthis in Yemen for more than six months in a bid to restore the internationally recognized President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi whose government was toppled from power by the Iran-backed rebels in September of 2014.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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