Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners are facing yet another round of condemnation today after an airstrike against northern Yemen’s Amran Province killed 17 civilians, including 13 teachers and four children. 20 other civilians were wounded in the strike.
The attack hit a building which houses the teachers union offices for the region, and staff were preparing make-up exams for students who had missed final exams because of the ongoing Saudi war. The children at the site were the children of teachers, who were playing outside when the strike hit.
Officials say the building also held an office of the General People’s Congress Party, a political party that has supported the Shi’ite Houthis against whom the Saudis are at war. Witnesses claimed there was a meeting at that office as well, though the strike appears to have hit the teachers more directly. Unconfirmed reports have emerged of five Houthis were killed in the same attack.
The large civilian toll follows Saudi warplanes destroying the port at Hodeida earlier this week, a primary route through which humanitarian aid was reaching northern Yemen. That too sparked condemnation from aid groups, and today the European Union also blasted the move.
Saudi Arabia and its allies are conducting a naval blockade of Yemen, a nation which imports 90% of its food, almost entirely by sea. They have limited shipments of humanitarian goods to select ports, and from select shippers, and the destruction of Hodeida’s port suggests that they intend to further cut off aid to the north, now that their allies are restricted to the southern port city of Aden and the surrounding area.