Saudi-Led Warplanes Bombed Yemen Site Holding al-Qaeda Suspects

Site Was a Detention Center, Not a Military Facility

by Jason Ditz, September 21, 2016

Adding to the number of non-military targets attacked by Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners in the Yemen war, the Shi’ite Houthis are reporting that a recent attack in the capital city of Sanaa attacked a building that was being used as a detention site for suspected members of al-Qaeda and other high-value detainees.

Details are still not totally clear on who was slain, but the Houthis reported civilians from the area surrounding the building itself were wounded in the strike. They added that in addition to al-Qaeda detainees, the site held suspected foreign spies, “including Americans.”

They added that the facility was totally unaffiliated with the Houthis’ military forces, which are resisting the Saudi invasion, but was rather part of a separate internal security apparatus that had been set up, primarily with an eye toward keeping al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS in check.

Saudi officials dismissed the claim, insisting they “only target military facilities in Yemen,” a claim which has demonstrably not been the case throughout the war, in which Saudi airstrikes have hit large numbers of civilian targets, repeatedly bombed schools and hospitals, and killed thousands of bystanders.

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