Amnesty accuses coalition forces and armed groups of committing war crimes in Yemen


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Amnesty International has claimed that scores of civilians, including dozens of children have been killed by Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrikes and attacks by pro and anti-Houthi armed groups in Ta'iz and Aden in Yemen.

A new report, titled 'Nowhere safe for civilians: Airstrikes and ground attacks in Yemen', documents eight airstrikes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that killed at least 141 civilians and injured 101 others, mostly women and children, in June and July.

The organisation also investigated 30 attacks in Aden and Ta'iz by Houthi armed groups, supported by armed and security forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and anti-Houthi groups fighting each other on the ground, which killed at least 68 civilians and wounded 99 others.

Fighters from both parties are accused of using imprecise weapons, including Grad-type rockets, mortars, and artillery fire in densely populated residential areas.

Amnesty International senior crisis response advisor Donatella Rovera said: "Civilians in southern Yemen have found themselves trapped in a deadly crossfire between Houthi loyalists and anti-Houthi groups on the ground, while facing the persistent threat of coalition airstrikes from the sky.

"Civilians in southern Yemen have found themselves trapped in a deadly crossfire."

"The report depicts in harrowing detail the gruesome and bloody trail of death and destruction in Ta'iz and Aden from unlawful attacks, which may amount to war crimes, by all parties."

According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the conflict in Yemen had resulted in at least 1,916 civilian deaths as of 4 August. At least 207 civilian objects, including property and infrastructure have been damaged.

The organisation has urged the UN Human Rights Council to establish an international commission of inquiry to independently and impartially investigate alleged war crimes committed during the conflict.

Amnesty claims that approximately 80% of the population is in need of humanitarian aid, but movement of crucial humanitarian supplies has been restricted due to damage to key logistical infrastructure, including bridges, airports, and seaports.


Image: A man shows a house destroyed by coalition airstrikes in Dar Saber village, outside Ta'iz city in Yemen. Photo: © 2015 Amnesty International.