MSF Slams Saudi Attacks on Hospitals, Medical Staff in Yemen

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Jason Cone, the executive director of the group in the US, said on Friday that Saudi military aircraft has targeted three health facilities run by it in Yemen over the past three months in flagrant violation of the international laws that call for the protection of medical sites and personnel.

He cited the January 21 aerial attack in Yemen’s mountainous and northwestern province of Sa’ada, where an ambulance driver working alongside MSF lost his life while trying to reach the victims of an earlier airstrike in the region, Press TV reported.

Saudi warplanes also carried out two strikes against Shiara Hospital in northern Yemen on January 10, leaving at least six people dead and seven others injured.

Cone further said that patients, fearing for their own lives, did not return to the hospital after the attack, and some pregnant women even gave birth in caves.

On December 2, 2015, nine people, including two staff members with Doctors Without Borders – also known by its French acronym MSF – were wounded when Saudi jets launched three airstrikes against a clinic in al-Houban district of the southern Yemeni province of Ta’izz.

The assaults came after MSF staff from the clinic had informed Saudi officials that their military aircraft were attacking the area indiscriminately.

Saudi fighter jets also bombed a Yemeni Health Ministry hospital in the Haydan district of Sa’ada Province on October 26. MSF teams were treating wounded patients, pregnant women and children there at the time.

The MSF has now called upon the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to independently assess Saudi Arabia’s violations of humanitarian law in Yemen, and look into the January 10 attack on Shiara Hospital.

It further criticized some members of the UN Security Council, namely Britain, France and the United States, for supplying munitions to the Saudi army.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), bombs were dropped nearly 100 times on or close to Yemeni medical facilities between March and November last year.

Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March last year. The Saudi military strikes were launched to supposedly undermine the Ansarullah movement and bring fugitive former President Abd Rabbu Mansur Hadi back to power.

Over 8,270 people, among them 2,236 children, have been killed and 16,015 others injured since March 2015. The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

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