Seven Yemeni civilians killed in fresh Saudi strikes on Dhale province
At least seven Yemeni civilians including women and children have lost their lives following Saudi airstrikes on Yemeni southwestern province of Dhale.
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Yemeni Ministry of Public Health and Population said 17 others sustained injuries when Saudi fighter jets conducted aerial assaults against Qatabah district on Saturday.
Yemen’s al-Masirah television network said six children and a woman were among the killed, while the injured included 11 children, five women and an elderly man.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
According to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
France, the United States, Britain and some other Western countries have faced criticisms over arms sales to the Saudi regime and its allies, whose aggression against Yemen has affected 28 million people and caused what the United Nations calls “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world."
In the latest protests against the arms exports, French human rights protesters held demonstrations on Thursday in a bid to block the loading of weapons onto a Saudi vessel that was due to dock in northern France later in the day.
On Friday, the spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement fiercely slammed the French government for supplying Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with weapons that have been used in their war on Yemen.
Describing Paris’ move as “a clear hypocrisy to evade crimes”, Mohammed Abdul-Salam called on France and other countries to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have been involved in an atrocious military aggression against Yemen for more than four years.
Meanwhile, the Saudi cargo ship Bahri-Yanbu, which reports said had not been able to load weapons due to protests, has reportedly picked up a shipment of French arms from Le Havre port in the Normandy region of northwestern France and will be headed to the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
Last weekend, the ship had been loaded with weapons in the Belgian port city of Antwerp, where it berthed from Friday evening to Sunday evening last week, the Brussels Times reported.
The protests came weeks after investigative website Disclose published leaked documents, showing Saudi Arabia was using French weapons, including tanks and laser-guided missile systems, against civilians in Yemen's war.
Faced with growing criticism, French President Emmanuel Macron admitted that the weapons were indeed being used in the war but only within Saudi Arabia's border.
"I would like to say here that what we reiterated was the guarantee for them (the arms) not be used against civilian populations," he said.
Paris is a signatory of the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which oversees the international trade of conventional weapons.