The Policy of Evading Responsibilities to End the Gaza War by Starting New Conflicts Must Cease

Continuing Civilian Casualties from American-British Attacks in Yemen

Saturday, June 15, 2024
The Policy of Evading Responsibilities to End the Gaza War by Starting New Conflicts Must Cease

Mwatana for Human Rights announced in a statement today that at least five civilians were injured in the latest American-British attack on Thursday morning, June 13, 2024. The strike targeted a civilian administrative facility used as a broadcasting building in Rima Governorate, about 200 kilometers from the capital, Sana'a. This incident adds a new chapter to the extensive record of violations affecting Yemeni civilians, spanning over nine years of war, and over two decades of previous US drone operations that killed and injured hundreds of civilians across Yemen under the pretext of combating terrorism. The United States has yet to acknowledge or compensate these victims.

Radhya Almutawakel, Chairperson of Mwatana for Human Rights, stated, "The American-British strikes targeting Yemeni civilians in response to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea only cause more harm and death to Yemenis who fall victim to these violations of international humanitarian law." She added, "It's time for the world to realize that the Yemeni citizen can no longer endure the suffering caused by the various parties to the conflict and their regional and international supporters. Peace in Yemen is now an absolute necessity for a population that has suffered horrific human rights violations and living conditions for nearly a decade in one of the world's largest humanitarian crises. All parties involved in the Yemen conflict must stop inflicting further harm on millions of Yemeni civilians, and the American-British alliance must cease evading their responsibilities in ending the Gaza war by starting a new conflict in Yemen."

Since January 11, 2024, American-British military forces have launched dozens of attacks, targeting over 170 sites in areas controlled by the Ansar Allah (Houthi) group as part of "Operation Guardian of Prosperity." This operation, led by the US and UK, is a response to the Houthi attacks on ships linked to Israel in the Red Sea since late November 2023. These attacks were a reaction to the horrific Israeli war on the Gaza Strip and extensive areas of the occupied Palestinian territories following the Palestinian factions' assault on Israeli settlements on October 7, 2023. The assault on Gaza, besieged for over 15 years, has resulted in the deaths of over 35,000 Palestinians, including about 15,286 children and more than 130 journalists, and injured about 70,000 Palestinians, including about 6,828 children. The majority of Palestinian civilian infrastructure in Gaza has been destroyed, including hospitals, medical facilities, schools, media headquarters, places of worship, residential buildings, shelters, displacement camps, releif NGO offices. The Israeli attacks have also targeted humanitarian, relief, and medical teams, as well as vehicles transporting aid and essential goods, and civilian infrastructure facilities. The violations committed by Israeli authorities include acts of genocide against the Palestinian people, protection of settlers' violent actions against Palestinians across vast areas of the West Bank and Galilee, seizure of extensive areas of Palestinians’ land and farms, arbitrary detention of thousands of Palestinians, and the use of torture and other forms of inhumane and degrading treatment against thousands of detainees. These systematic violations are aimed at forcibly displacing Palestinians from their homeland.

Israeli occupation forces have destroyed approximately 416 educational facilities, including 103 completely demolished and 313 partially damaged. Israeli military operations have impacted around 25 hospitals, with about 33 hospitals rendered out of service, and 126 ambulances destroyed, according to data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Furthermore, the Israeli government has actively prevented the access of humanitarian aid, medical supplies, and essential materials needed for the survival of civilian population in Gaza, including for hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children, using starvation as a weapon of war. This has been documented by Human Rights Watch, the International Criminal Court prosecutor, and various UN agencies and humanitarian organizations operating in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Mwatana for Human Rights documented an American-British attack on Sunday, February 25, 2024, targeting a telecommunications network station of Yemeni commercial companies on top of Jabal Al-Sayada in Al-Aqahouz, Maqbana District, Taiz Governorate, at around 12:00 p.m. The attack resulted in the death of one civilian and the injury of six others while they were celebrating a religious occasion. The victims were transported to Al-Barh Rural Hospital and then to hospitals in Ibb and Sana'a.

Additionally, Mwatana documented a drone attack, likely American-British, on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at around 5:00 p.m., targeting 11 Yemeni fishermen on their boats near the British cargo ship "Rubymar," 30 km northwest of Mokha, Taiz Governorate, in the Red Sea. The attack, which followed a previous Houthi attack on the ship, resulted in the death of two civilians, the injury of two others, and the sinking of one boat.

On Saturday, March 30, 2024, around 08:00 a.m., an American-British strike targeted a small farm in Al-Nasriyah village, Al-Ma'aras, Al-Zuhra District, Al-Hudaydah Governorate, northwest Yemen. The attack injured one child, who partially lost his hearing while collecting fodder, and resulted in the death and injury of several Houthi fighters who were about 100 meters south of the farm.

On Monday, April 8, 2024, around 2:30 p.m., an American-British strike targeted a brick factory in Mandhar village, Al-Houk District, Al-Hudaydah Governorate, resulting in the injury of one civilian. The injured was rescued from under the rubble and taken on a motorcycle to Al-Thawra Hospital in Al-Hudaydah city.

On May 30, 2024, American-British strikes targeted the Coast Guard building in Al-Salif port, the broadcasting building in Al-Houk District, and a site in Al-Durayhimi, south of Al-Hudaydah city, resulting in at least 16 civilian deaths and at least 35 injuries.

These attacks are often followed by statements highlighting the number of military targets struck by American-British airstrikes in various regions of Yemen. However, they consistently ignore the civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure. This reflects a long-standing, disgraceful policy of American neglect towards Yemeni civilian victims. Among these victims are hundreds of civilians killed or injured in drone operations spanning over two decades, and tens of thousands of civilian casualties from the Saudi/UAE-led coalition operations, which have been supported by the United States and the United Kingdome for nearly nine years. This war has driven Yemen to become one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world.