Saudi Airstrikes Kill 136 Civilians Over Just 11 Days

Saudi Targeting Increasingly Reckless

Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes against targets across northern Yemen have been a consistent reality since the early 2015 invasion, and civilians have borne the brunt of the strikes from the start. Escalating attacks, however, suggest a disturbing trend, with the UN High Commission for Human Rights expressing deep concern.

That’s because not only are the civilian death tolls mounting, with 136 people killed in airstrikes in 11 days, but the nature of the strikes has been increasingly troubling, suggesting less and less Saudi care in targeting.

One strike hit a hospital in Hodeidah, while another hit a carload of women returning home from a wedding. Still another hit a TV station. The biggest problem, however, was the December 13 strike against a prison in Sanaa.

The UN assessed 43 killed in the Saudi attack on the prison, and every single one of them was claimed to have been loyal to pro-Saudi forces. UN spokesman Rupert Colville said this was probably a mistake, and that “they weren’t intended to kill prisoners from their own side.”

But they did, and they killed a lot of them. The fact that bombing a prison full of allies would kill some of those allies shouldn’t have been lost of the Saudis, and further adds to doubts about Saudi targeting in general.

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.