The carnage took place in Durayhimi city on Thursday, when a Saudi-led strike hit a civilian vehicle, killing 31 people, mostly children. The attack came about two weeks after a Saudi-led warplane hit a school bus in the northern province of Sa’ada with a 227-kilogram laser-guided Mark 82 bomb, killing a total of 51 people, including 40 children, and leaving nearly 80 others wounded.
“I had hoped that the outrage that followed the Sa’ada attack in Yemen two weeks ago would be a turning point in the conflict. Yesterday’s reported attacks in Durayhimi, killing 26 children, indicate that it was not,” said Henrietta Fore, the UNICEF executive director, in a statement on Friday.
“I – once again – call for the warring parties, those who have influence over them, the UN Security Council and the international community to take action and end this conflict once and for all,” she further said, adding that the lives of thousands of “vulnerable children” all over the war-torn country “must be a priority for all.”
Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, which plays a significant role in aiding the Yemeni army in defending the impoverished country against the invading coalition, condemned the Thursday attack, saying the blood of children was spilled again before that of those killed in the bus attack dried.
Saudi Arabia and some of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan, launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s former president and a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The movement has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration during the past three years.
The imposed war initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen.
Some 15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of the Saudi-led aggression.
The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations has said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
Several Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.