Houthi Missile Strike Hits Yemen City of Maarib, 17 Killed Including Civilians

Houthis deny details, say they struck a military base

Yemen’s Houthi rebels direct a ballistic missile at the contested northern city of Marib, killing at least 17 people, including a five-year-old girl. The missile was reported by officials to have hit a gas station, and Saudi-backed officials said all the casualties were civilians.

Pro-Saudi officials were pushing hard for the UN and US to publicly condemn the attack and describe it as a war crime. Yemen has seen no shortage of war crimes in recent years, though it is rare for the Saudi-backed government to want international comments on the matter.

The Houthis are telling a totally different story on the Saturday strike, saying they’d fired on, and hit, a military camp, not a gas station. They were disputing the claims of civilian casualties, and called for an independent investigation into what happened.

This is unusual too, as while the Saudi strikes are behind the overwhelming majority of civilian deaths, the Houthis are hardly innocent on that count themselves. Yemen has been a messy, messy war, and the fighting near populated areas has put an undue burden on the country’s civilians.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.