Study: One-Third of Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen Hit Civilian Targets

Some Civilian Targets Repeatedly Attacked

by Jason Ditz, September 16, 2016

A new study conducted by the Yemen Data Project in cooperation with the Guardian has revealed for the first time some shocking metrics related to the massive civilian death toll in Saudi airstrikes. The study found that roughly one-third of all airstrikes targeted explicitly civilian targets.

That’s a best-case scenario, too. 3,158 non-military targets were confirmed out of a little over 8,600 raids. Another 1,882 of the strikes hit “unknown” targets, meaning all told the number of civilian targets could be in excess of half overall.

The Saudi government has repeatedly denied ever attacking a single civilian target, and condemned the report as “vastly exaggerated.” Since previous reports have detailed that the vast majority of civilian casualties in the war are the result of Saudi airstrikes, however, this report makes a lot of sense, and explains why that was the case.

Indeed, the study found that the Saudis had systematically targeted certain civilian targets on a regular basis, hitting a single open-air marketplace in Houthi territory at least 24 times over the course of the war, and bombing the same school building nine different times.

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