Rescue efforts are underway following a Saudi airstrike targeting Yemen’s presidential compound in the crowded residential neighborhood of Al-Tahrir. Yemeni officials told MintPress that the death toll has risen to over 90 people.
SANA’A, YEMEN (Report) — The death toll following Saudi coalition airstrikes targeting the presidential in the densely populated neighborhood of Al-Tahrir in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, has risen to more than 90 people, including schoolchildren, according to a statement to MintPress by an official from Yemen’s Ministry of Health. Local hospitals received 86 injuries, but rescuers are still struggling to retrieve bodies from the rubble, so the number of victims could rise.
The destruction in Tahrir, the second largest residential and commercial area in Sana`a, was extensive. Two airstrikes hit the building, located near a hotel, a bank and several shops, and not far from the central bank, which was bustling with employees at that time.
The principal of the Gamal Abdel Nasser School, close to the presidential compound, told MintPress that a number of students sustained injuries, adding that the huge blasts threw students into a sudden panic, prompting school authorities to suspend ongoing exams.
Yemen’s official Saba news agency, citing an unnamed security source, said the Saudi-led coalition intentionally bombs crowded places during rush hour to inflict more casualties.
The attack came hours after up to 60 air raids were launched by the Saudi coalition Sunday night in residential districts in Sana`a, Hodeida, and Sa`ada, killing and injuring a number of civilians. In Sa’ada, in northern Yemen, five family members were killed after Saudi aircraft bombed a residence in the district of Baqim. Two more civilians were killed in Saudi strikes on the al-Jarahi district in Hodeidah. In Hajjah, which has been bombed 10 times over the past 24 hours, there is still no word on the number of possible casualties
Meanwhile, the National Center for Blood Transfusion and Research continues to suffer from a lack of blood stockpiles after being targeted by Saudi airstrikes on April 28. The Ministry of Public Health and Population appealed to international organizations to support the Center in order to permit it to resume its work.
US steps up role in Saudi war
Yemen’s Brigadier-General Sharaf Ghalib Luqman — noting that a recent Pentagon declaration, confirming U.S. Green Berets are on the ground actively assisting Saudi forces, proves that the aggression against Yemen is primarily American — promised that Yemen’s army will target U.S. forces fighting beside the Saudi-led coalition. Luqman stressed that the Yemeni Army and Popular Committees have the right to use various means of defense against the occupying forces of any nationality.
An official source in the Yemeni Foreign Ministry told MintPress that the U.S. is maintaining contradictory positions, calling on one hand for a political settlement and peace while simultaneously engaging in a military and political role to support the aggression against Yemen and the killing of its people and destruction of its infrastructure.
The source called on the U.S. administration not to mislead the American people and Congress about its blatant interference in Yemen alongside Saudi Arabia.
According to a New York Times report, the U.S. deployed a team of special forces to Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen to assist the Saudi military in locating and destroying caches of ballistic missiles used by Yemen to target Saudi military bases.
Saudi Arabia’s bloody war on Yemen has killed or injured over 600,000 civilians, including more than a quarter of a million children, since it’s onset in March 2015.
Top Photo | Destruction in a neighborhood adjacent to the presidential compound in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a following Saudi airstrikes midday Monday, May 7, 2018. (MintPress News)
Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress New and local Yemeni media.