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On 22 April 2018, an airstrike by the Saudi Arabian-led coalition hit a wedding in the Bani Qa'is District of Hajjah Governorate, Yemen. Casualty estimates vary, with the Houthi-owned Al-Masirah reporting the toll later that day to be at least 33 civilians including the bride,[3] while other estimates are higher.[4] Forty-five other people were injured.[5]

2018 Hajjah airstrike
Part of Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
LocationHajjah, Yemen
Date22 April 2018
Attack type
Airstrike
DeathsVarying estimates, from 33,[1] 43,[2] up to 55 according to some sources
PerpetratorsRoyal Saudi Air Force

Contents

AirstrikeEdit

The Saudi Arabian-led coalition carried out two separate airstrikes in Yemen. The planes repeatedly flew over the area where the strike was being conducted, thus preventing medical personnel from treating the victims.[4][3] The victims were primarily women and children, who were congregating in one of the tents set up for the wedding.[6] A Houthi government spokesperson said that ambulances were initially unable to reach the scene due to the threat from jets, which continued to fly overhead.[3]

According to the Houthi officials, the strikes first targeted the men gathering at the wedding and then the women.[3]

The airstrike killed the bride and wounded the groom with shrapnel. Some of the injured children lost eyes and limbs.[7] According to Abdul Hakim Alkhulani, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry, "Due to many casualties from the coalition-led wedding attacks, field hospitals were made near the site of the attacks giving injured civilians medical treatment in order to save lives".[8] Video footage of the airstrike shows body parts scattered around the area, as well as a young boy hugging a man's body who had died from the strike.[5] According to Bellingcat, a citizen journalist organisation, the bomb was made by the American company Raytheon.[9]

ReactionsEdit

A spokesperson for United Nations secretary António Guterres said "The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law concerning the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure during armed conflicts".[4] A spokesperson for the Saudi Arabian coalition which carried out the airstrike said, "We take this report very seriously and it will be fully investigated as all reports of this nature are".[5]

The foreign minister of Iran, Bahram Qassemi, responded to the airstrike saying "The escalated bombardment of residential areas proves the desperation and inability of the invaders in achieving their goals".[10]

The Saba News Agency of Yemen described the airstrike as "the new genocidal crime of the Saudis".[10]

The Campaign Against Arms Trade, a UK-based organisation, responded to the incident with a criticism of the UK government, "Yemen is now in its fourth year of war, and the bombardment is getting worse. Thousands have been killed, and many more will be if it continues. Theresa May has said she wants the UK to play a positive role on the world stage, so why is her government still arming and supporting Saudi atrocities? It's time for her to put the lives of Yemeni people above the interests of arms companies."[11][12]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ CNN, Hakim Almasmari,. "Houthi political leader confirmed dead Monday; airstrikes kill more than 30 at Yemen wedding". CNN. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Saudi air raids kill 43 at wedding in Yemen". Keshmir Observer. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Sharman, Jon; Ghantous, Ghaida; al-Haj, Ahmed (23 April 2018). "Yemen: 'At least 20 killed including bride' after airstrike by Saudi-led coalition hits wedding party". The Independent. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Up to 50 killed in Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen wedding – local health officials". RT. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Sharman, Joe; Ghantous, Ghaida. "Yemen: 'At least 20 killed including bride' after airstrike by Saudi-led coalition hits wedding party". The Independent. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Yemen war: Saudi-led air strike on wedding 'kills 20'". BBC News. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  7. ^ Haynes, Danielle (23 April 2018). "Airstrike kills more than 20 at Yemen wedding". United Press International. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  8. ^ Almasmari, Hakim (23 April 2018). "Houthi political leader confirmed dead Monday; airstrikes kill more than 30 at Yemen wedding". CNN. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  9. ^ https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/27/american-made-bomb-used-airstrike-yemen-wedding/
  10. ^ a b "Dozens killed in air raid on Yemen wedding: medics". Yahoo News. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Silence from UK govt slammed after reports of deadly Saudi-led airstrike on Yemen wedding". Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Yemen: After air strike on wedding, CAAT asks why is UK still arming Saudi Arabia". Independent Catholic News. 24 April 2018.