Saudi warplanes launched a series of airstrikes against a crowded marketplace in Hajjah Province Tuesday, and UN officials finally established a final death toll for the incident, saying 119 civilians were killed.
Saudi officials, who on Tuesday denied having attacked the market at all, today confirmed the incident, saying they attacked a qat market where a “militia gathering” was happening, backing it up with claims that as many as 33 of the slain were Shi’ites, and thus presumptive allies of the Houthi rebellion.
The incident is the latest in a number of huge incidents of Saudi airstrikes killing large numbers of civilians, as the Saudi war approaches its one year anniversary. Estimates have put the death toll in the war at 6,200+, with the majority civilians, and those overwhelmingly killed in Saudi strikes.
The UN issued a report earlier this year harshly critical of the Saudis for their “systematic” targeting of civilians across Yemen, saying it could amount to a crime against humanity. They also faulted the Saudi naval blockade of Yemen as an attempt to deliberately starve the population.