Truce elusive as eight civilians killed in Yemen airstrikes

Truce elusive as eight civilians killed in Yemen airstrikes
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on Yemen's Amran killed at least eight civilians on Thursday, as the UN continued to call for respect of a truce.
2 min read
09 September, 2016
Saudi Arabia has intensified airstrikes in Yemen since the collapse of the peace talks [Anadolu]

At least eight civilians were killed when a Saudi-led coalition airstrike struck a house north of Yemen's capital on Thursday, prompting the UN to call on warring factions to respect the April ceasefire agreement.

Five others were wounded in the attack in Amran, a city around 40 kilometres (25 miles) from rebel-held Sana'a, Al-Masirah television, which is affiliated to the rebels, said.

A neighbouring school compound was also damaged at the time, although no casualties were reported, witnesses said.

Coalition fighter jets conducted 12 airstrikes targeting a Houthi-controlled army base when the house was hit, according to tribal sources.

The UN Security Council called on all parties to abide by the terms and conditions set out by a ceasefire agreement implemented on April 10, including a halt to all land and air military activities in the country.

UN figures said that the death toll in Yemen's conflict has reached 10,000

In a statement obtained by The New Arab, the UN reiterated its commitment to work with the special envoy to Yemen, Islamil Ould Cheikh Ahmed, "in order to bring the parties to the negotiating table to quickly reach a final and comprehensive agreement aimed at end the conflict in Yemen."

The statement warned "any new political arrangements must be the result of an agreement made via the ongoing UN-sponsored negotiations and not as a result of unilateral actions by any party."

It also called on "all parties to allow safe and swift access, and unhindered humanitarian supplies to all the affected provinces and to facilitate the arrival of essential imports of food, fuel and medical supplies into the country and allow its distribution all over the country."

UN figures said that the death toll in Yemen's conflict has reached 10,000, an increase from estimates of more than 6,000 cited by officials and aid workers for much of 2016.

Half of all civilian casualties have been blamed on the Saudi-led coalition – which adamantly insists it does not target civilians - while Houthi shelling has so far amounted to a quarter of the death toll.

The coalition intervened in March 2015 after Houthi rebels overran the capital, forcing the President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to flee towards the southern port city of Aden.