Yemeni forces have killed or injured at least 40 Saudi mercenaries in the country’s southwest in their first retaliation against Saudi air raids that left dozens of civilians dead in Hudaydah Province.
Yemeni army, backed by fighters from Popular Committees, launched rockets at the positions of Saudi mercenaries in the city Ta’izz on Thursday, Yemen’s al-Masirah television reported.
The retaliatory attacks came a day after at least 32 civilians, including children and women, were killed and scores more injured in Saudi airstrikes at a busy marketplace in the Hawak district of Hudaydah.
Sami Motair, a medical official at al-Thawra hospital in Hudaydah, told The Associated Press that scores of bodies were buried under at least three houses destroyed by Saudi missiles.The official said the death toll is expected to rise as a search is underway to recover more bodies.
On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Saudi attacks.
The UN chief “once again reminds all parties to the conflict that they must fully respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular the fundamental rules of distinction, proportionality and precaution,” said his spokesman, reading a statement.
Ban “reiterated his call for urgent measures to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure,” the statement added.
Iran also issued a statement and condemned the Saudi raid, saying the West is complicit in Saudi crimes by remaining silent.
The air raids came as the US Senate overwhelmingly voted against a bill to block a huge American arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
The bill would have halted a 1.15-billion-dollar sale of hundreds of US-made tank structures, machine guns, grenade launchers and armored vehicle structures, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition, to the Riyadh regime.
Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015, with the UN putting the toll at 10,000. The offensive was launched to reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a Saudi ally who has resigned as Yemen’s president.
A survey, conducted by the Yemen Data Project, a group of academics and human rights activists, showed earlier this month that Saudi airstrikes hit 3,158 non-military sites between March 2015 and the end of August this year, The Guardian reported.
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.