Saudi Warplanes Repeatedly Bomb Yemen Prison, Killing 60

Officials Say Attack In Keeping With Targeting Procedures

Mostly destroyed and no longer usable, the prison in the Yemeni city of Hodeidah held 84 inmates until Saturday, when Saudi Arabian warplanes repeatedly bombed it, killing at least 60 of the people within and wounding dozens of others.

The exact number of prisoners killed compared to guards is unknown, though prisoners are said to be the vast majority. The prison was leveled in the attack, according to witnesses, and rescue workers are still looking through the rubble, with others believed trapped within.

Three airstrikes were targeted against the prison, with the first hitting it directly, bringing down the roof, and the follow-up attacks targeting the gates and the administration buildings. The Saudi coalition insisted the attacks were in keeping with targeting procedures, noting the prison was known to have Houthi security forces within.

It is unclear who the prisoners generally were at the prison, but deliberately attacking a prison will doubtless add to concerns about Saudi Arabia’s standards for airstrikes against Yemen, which have killed massive numbers of civilians over the past 19 months.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.