Wednesday 21 August 2019
News ID: 66082
Publish Date: 17 May 2019 - 22:12
Several Civilians, Including 5 Children, Killed:


TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran condemned as a "crime” on Friday a wave of airstrikes on residential areas of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, which killed several civilians.
The UN’s humanitarian office OCHA said preliminary reports showed five children had been killed in the strikes on Thursday. Other reports put the civilian death toll at seven, including four members of a single family, with 48 others injured.
A Saudi military statement carried by Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, said the airstrikes struck military bases and facilities with the aim of "neutralizing the ability of the Houthi militia to carry out acts of aggression".
"The sorties achieved its goals with full precision," the military claimed.
One resident reported a strike near a densely-populated district, where flames and clouds of smoke could be seen, Reuters reported.  
"There was an airstrike near us, in the middle of an area packed with residents between Hael and Raqas (streets)," Abdulrazaq Muhammad told Reuters. "The explosion was so strong that stones were flying. This is the first time our house shakes so much."
An AFP correspondent reported seeing one residential building completely reduced to rubble, with residents using bare hands in a desperate search for survivors.
The residents chanted "Death to America, death to Israel" as they pulled the body of a child, the news agency reported.
Iran's Foreign Ministry condemned the strikes and called on international and human rights bodies "to act according to their responsibility to prevent the repetition of these crimes".
"Countries which have supported the invading forces in Yemen by giving destructive arms and bombs are complicit in these crimes and must be held accountable," ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
The United Arab Emirates had said on Wednesday that the Western-backed Saudi coalition, of which it is a main member, would "retaliate hard" after Yemen’s Houthi fighters claimed responsibility for drone attacks on Saudi oil installations.
 Saudi Arabia's deputy defense minister on Thursday accused Iran of ordering Tuesday's armed drone attack on two oil pumping stations in the kingdom.
The head of the Houthis' Supreme Revolutionary Committee denied that Iran directed the strike and said the movement manufactures its drones locally. Tehran also denies providing arms to the Houthis.
"We are not agents for anyone," Muhammad Ali al-Houthi told Reuters. "We make decisions independently and do not take orders for drones or anything else."
The attack happened days after the United Nations confirmed that Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement had handed over control of three key ports in the western province of Hudaydah to the local "coastguard”.
The measure took place in line with a UN-brokered truce accord. The UN says the Saudis have not yet implemented their commitment under the agreement.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies, including the United Arab Emirates, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power.
Chief Houthi negotiator Muhammad Abdul-Salam said the Yemeni resistance will target Saudi Arabia's economic infrastructure if the Saudis continue attacks against the war-torn country.
"Strategic Emirati facilities will also be targeted by drone attacks," he said.
The drone strike by Yemen’s Houthis prompted Saudi newspaper Arab News to call for "surgical" American strikes against Iran, likes those against Syria in 2017 and 2018.
Turki bin Salman al Saud, brother of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, currently owns the Saudi Research and Marketing Group that publishes Arab News.



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