UN, Iran raise concerns over coalition raids in Yemen

UN, Iran raise concerns over coalition raids in Yemen
Concerns over Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen were voiced by the United Nations as well as Iranian officials on Wednesday, after dozens were killed in increased air raids.
2 min read
10 August, 2016
Saudi coalition bombing targeted several positions in and around the capital this week [AFP
The United Nations and Iran voiced concerns over an increased number of Saudi-led coalition air raids in Yemen that killed at least 14 people following the breakdown of UN-backed peace talks.

"The secretary general is deeply concerned about reports of increased fighting between various parties in Hajjah, Saada and Sanaa provinces including over the past few days," UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.

"The reported escalation in fighting exacerbates the already dire humanitarian and human rights situation and the suffering of the Yemeni people."

Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels, called on regional-rival Saudi Arabia to end its coalition air raids on Yemen.

On Wednesday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi accused world powers on of failing to act upon the kingdom’s "continued destruction of the infrastructure of this country, killings of civilians and brazen, inhumane siege of an oppressed nation."

At least 14 people were killed on Tuesday, when coalition airstrikes hit a factory in Sanaa, forcing authorities to ground flights and close the capital’s airport.

Positions in north and central Yemen including Saada, Hajja and Ibb were also hit by the raids, a Houthi spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the US State Department approved a potential sale of military equipment to Saudi Arabia worth around $1.15 billion.

Included in the sale are more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armoured recovery vehicles and various other types of military equipment.

Riyadh has been consistently accused of various human rights violations against civilians.

Most notably, Saudi Arabia was drawn into a lengthy tussle with the United Nations after the international body added the Saudi-led coalition to a list of children's rights violators for the deaths of hundreds of children in airstrikes.

The UN says that more than 6,400 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Yemen since the coalition air campaign began last March.