Backed Coalition Bombs School Bus, Killing Dozens of Yemeni Kids

Backed Coalition Bombs School Bus, Killing Dozens of Yemeni Kids

Backed Coalition Bombs School Bus, Killing Dozens of Yemeni Kids

Declarations of outrage were followed by demands for an immediate investigation on Thursday after reports that the USA -backed Saudi coalition slaughtered dozens of innocent civilians, including many children traveling on a school bus, when it bombed an area near a crowded market in Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition, in a defiant statement, has described the massacre as a "legitimate action" to target missile launchers used by Houthi Ansarullah fighters to target the southern Saudi city of Jizan.

"We call on the parties to take appropriate measures to protect civilians", she said.

A Yemeni child is transported to a hospital after being wounded in a reported airstrike on the Iran-backed Huthi rebels' stronghold province of Saada, on Thu., Aug. 9, 2018.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert deflected questions about a US-backed Saudi airstrike that killed dozens of children in Yemen, instead choosing to highlight "Houthi attacks" against Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and Sunni Muslim allies intervened in Yemen's war in 2015 against the Houthis, who control the most populous areas of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, and drove the internationally recognized government into exile in 2014.

The missile was sacked from the rebel-held Yemeni province of Amran towards Jizan, the coalition said.

In July, a Badr 1 missile was sacked at Jizan Economic City, where Saudi Aramco is building a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery.

Last Thursday, attacks on a hospital and a fish market in the strategic rebel-held port city of Hodeida killed at least 55 civilians and wounded 170, according to the ICRC.

Naif Rahma /ReutersA doctor treats children injured by an airstrike in Saada Yemen Aug. 9 2018
Naif Rahma /ReutersA doctor treats children injured by an airstrike in Saada Yemen Aug. 9 2018

Colonel Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, denied the attack had killed children.

The group's head of delegation in Yemen, Johannes Bruwer, tweeted "scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of 10".

He accused the rebels of using children as "tools and covers for their terrorist acts". Video footage, which CBS News can't independently verify, appear to show the devastating aftermath.

Saudi Arabia, the driving force behind a coalition of its Arab neighbors, saw no reason to apologize, however.

The coalition said Wednesday's projectile, fired toward the southwestern Saudi city of Jizan, was intercepted and destroyed but its fragments caused the casualties.

But on social media, critics noted that other coverage of the air strike in the USA and Britain-which also supports the coalition-failed to acknowledge the countries' involvement in the war. The paramedics present at sites reportedly said that they had found and treated 40 people with broken bones, cuts and bruises. The coalition faces widespread global criticism for its airstrikes in Yemen that kill civilians.

The Houthis have launched a series of missile strikes on the kingdom, including Riyadh, over the past year.

The war in Yemen has left more than 10,000 dead since 2015, sparking what the United Nations says is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Abu Muzahem, a resident of Dahyan, was working building a house when the air strike hit the market on Thursday morning.

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