A survey has revealed that Saudi Arabia has targeted more than 3,000 civilian sites, including schools, hospital and mosques, in its war on Yemen.
According to the survey, conducted by the Yemen Data Project, a group of academics, human rights organizers and activists, Saudi airstrikes hit 3,158 non-military sites between March 2015 and the end of August this year.
The findings, published by the British national daily The Guardian on Friday, further exposed that there have been 942 air raids on residential areas, 114 on markets, 34 on mosques, 147 on school buildings, 26 on universities and 378 on transport over the course of the bombardment.
The independent survey, which was based on open-source data, including research on the ground, also showed that one school building in the Dhubab district of Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz, situated 346 km south of the capital, Sana’a, was struck nine times, while a market in the city of Sirwah, which lies about 120 km east of the capital, was hit 24 times.
The study also said that Saudi airstrikes hit more non-military than military sites in five of the last 18 months.
Out of the more than 8,600 airstrikes recorded, 3,577 ones were listed as having hit military sites. A total of 1,882 strikes were classified as unknown.
The revelations have prompted some British politicians to call on London to stop the sale of munitions to Saudi Arabia.
“It’s sickening to think of British-built weapons being used against civilians and the government has an absolute responsibility to do everything in its power to stop that from happening. But as ministers turn a blind eye to the conflict in Yemen, evidence that humanitarian law has been violated is becoming harder to ignore by the day,” the UK’s shadow defense secretary, Clive Lewis, commented.
“Despite consistent evidence showing targeting of civilians, first [former Prime Minister David] Cameron and now [incumbent PM Theresa] May’s governments have continued their hypocritical defense of Saudi Arabia’s brutal campaign in Yemen,” Liberal Democrat spokesperson, Tom Brake, said.
Brake said that the data adds more weight to calls for the suspension of arms sales to the Aal-e Saud regime.
Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015, with the UN putting the death toll from the military aggression at about 10,000. The offensive was launched to reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a Saudi ally who has resigned as Yemen’s president.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said last month that the death toll from the Saudi military aggression could rise even further as some areas had no medical facilities, and that people were often buried without any official record being made.