Saudi-led air strike kills 29 children in Yemen

At least 29 children have been killed and 30 wounded in a Saudi-led coalition air strike in Yemen, said the International Committee of the Red Cross. The children were traveling on a school bus that was hit at a market in Dahyan, in the northern province of Saada. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an independent investigation.

According to the area's Houthi-controlled Health Ministry, 50 people were killed and 77 injured in the strike. The International Committee for the Red Cross said a hospital it supports in northern Saada province had received 29 bodies of "mainly children" younger than 15, and 40 injured, including 30 children.

In the statement, Guterres added that all parties must "respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular the fundamental rules of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack."

The Western-backed alliance fighting the Iranian-aligned Houthi group in Yemen said in a statement that the air strikes targeted missile launchers used to attack the southern Saudi city of Jizan on Wednesday, killing a Yemeni civilian there. Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam said the coalition showed “clear disregard for civilian life” as the attack had targeted a crowded public place in the city.

It’s entirely possible that the United States played a role in the bombing, but the US military doesn’t have any idea if that’s the case. The US backs the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen by providing intelligence support and refueling airplanes, among other assistance.

“We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the US sold to them,” said Army Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesperson for US Central Command, cited by Vox. “We don’t have a lot of people on the ground.” It’s also unclear if the US was involved in refueling planes for the attack, Jacques said, because the military doesn’t track where the coalition planes go. Another Pentagon spokesperson said that “US Central Command was not involved in the airstrike in Sa’ada.”

The war has claimed more than 13,500 lives, with more than 900,000 suffering from cholera. Roughly 20 million Yemenis need humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs- including food and water - out of a prewar population of 28 million.

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