Saudi Airstrikes Kill 13 Civilians at Yemen Potato Chip Factory

Saudi Strikes Also Reported Against Port of Hodeida

by Jason Ditz, August 09, 2016

One day after Saudi warplanes killed nine civilians in an airstrike against a grocery store in Yemen’s Nehm District, a new round of airstrikes was reported against the capital city of Sanaa, with today’s target a potato chip factory. At least 13 civilians, mostly women who worked at the factory, were killed.

It is unclear why the factory was targeted, but residents said the area was near a former army maintenance camp, though that camp had been heavily bombed already and no longer appears to have been in use. Local media showed footage of firefighters battling the blaze at the attacked factory.

There were also reports of airstrikes against the port city of Hodeida, which is the primary port through which supplies are traditionally sent to Sanaa. The port has been materially the only way for humanitarian goods to reach the capital since Saudi warplanes destroyed the city’s airport, though the seaport at Hodeida has often been a target itself and isn’t in the best of condition. There was no word on casualties there.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about reports of new fighting since the UN paused the peace process a few days ago, though he did not single out the Saudi airstrikes, and insisted that the Security Council itself has no way to verify reports of civilian deaths inside Yemen.

Ban had previously gotten in some trouble with the Saudis for noting the large number of civilians, particularly children, that they killed, which forced them to agree to abandon language in an annual report on war crimes against children which mentioned the Saudi war.

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