Saudi Bombs Keep Hitting Weddings In Yemen
Nearly 200 people have reportedly died in Yemen from Saudi-led airstrikes that have hit wedding parties, halls and receptions
A wedding hall was among a number of civilian structures pulverized in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital city, during a recent surge in airstrikes led by Saudi Arabia. Nobody was inside the building when it was reduced to rubble early Tuesday morning, according to reports. But for human rights observers, the attack furthers a trend: the 10-month bombing campaign led by the kingdom routinely hits civilian targets, including a number of wedding parties.
Since March, the Saudis have spearheaded an Arab coalition in an aggressive—and escalating—war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who it accuses of being proxies for its regional rival Iran. The Houthis and Iran deny this. More than 2,800 civilians have now been killed during the fighting, the vast majority by coalition airstrikes, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN. Iran on Thursday claimed that one of those strikes hit its embassy in Sana’a, but witnesses said they saw no evidence of damage to the building.
It’s a different story with weddings in Yemen. Since July, Saudi-led warplanes have been suspected of firing upon three other wedding halls, parties and receptions. These attacks have exacted a punishing toll, killing almost 200 people, many of them women and children, according to witnesses and officials.
Here’s a look at them:
July 10, 2015
Saudi-led warplanes strike an empty wedding hall in Sana’a, destroying the building. At least 10 people are killed in separate airstrikes across the capital, which occur during a United Nations-brokered ceasefire between the Arab coalition and Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
September 27, 2015
As many as 135 people are killed after airstrikes pummel a wedding party outside the Red Sea port of Mokha. At least 80 of the victims are women, according to reports. The event marks the deadliest single event of Yemen’s civil war, though Saudi Arabia later denies that its coalition carried out the attack.
October 8, 2015
Coalition aircraft allegedly fire upon a house in Sanban where dozens of people were celebrating the marriage of three brides from nearby villages. Witnesses, who heard the sound of jets overhead before the blasts, say at least 57 people were killed. Once again, the Saudis and their Arab partners claim no responsibility for the bombings.