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2:07, 16 August 2018

44 Little Graves Stir Questions About U.S. Policy in Yemen


44 Modest Graves Stir Questions About U.S. Policy in Yemen

44 Modest Graves Stir Queries About U.S. Policy in Yemen

Image
Yemeni children in the northern Yemeni city of Saada on Monday vented their anger for the duration of a mass funeral for kids killed in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition last week.CreditAgence France-Presse &mdash Getty Photos

By Shuaib Almosawa, Ben Hubbard and Eric Schmitt

DAHYAN, Yemen &mdash The boys crammed into the bus, their thin bodies packed three to a seat, with latecomers jammed in the aisle. They fidgeted with excitement about the day&rsquos field trip, speaking so loudly that a tall boy struggling to get their interest place his hands over his ears and yelled.

Hours later, most of them have been dead.

During a stop for snacks in the poor village of Dahyan in northern Yemen, an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition of Arab nations hit nearby, blasting the bus into a jagged mass of twisted metal and scattering its human cargo &mdash wounded, bleeding and dead &mdash in the street under, according to witnesses and parents.

&ldquoMy leg is bent,&rdquo cried a young boy covered in blood, examining his damaged limb. &ldquoA jet hit us,&rdquo he mentioned in a video taken at the scene after the airstrike.

Yemeni wellness officials mentioned 54 people had been killed, 44 of them kids, and several far more have been wounded.

Yemen&rsquos conflict started in 2014 when Houthi rebels, who are aligned with Iran, seized control of the capital, Sana, and sent the government into exile. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia &mdash Iran&rsquos chief rival for power and influence in the Middle East &mdash formed a coalition of Arab nations and launched a military intervention aimed at restoring Yemen&rsquos government. It has so far failed to do so.

The Aug. 9 attack was especially shocking, even for a war in which youngsters have been the primary victims, suffering via a single of the globe&rsquos worst humanitarian crises, with rampant malnutrition and outbreaks of cholera. The war had killed a lot more than 10,000 individuals prior to the United Nations stopped updating the death toll two years ago.

The strike also revived queries about the coalition&rsquos techniques and the United States&rsquo assistance for the campaign.

American military leaders, exasperated by strikes that have killed civilians at markets, weddings and funerals, insist that the United States is not a party to the war. Human rights organizations say the United States can’t deny its role, provided that it has sold billions of dollars in weaponry to allied coalition states, supplied them with intelligence and refueled their bombers in midair.

Congress has shown rising concern about the war lately. A defense policy bill that President Trump signed on Monday integrated a bipartisan provision that calls for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to certify that Saudi Arabia and its close ally the United Arab Emirates &mdash the two countries top the coalition &mdash are taking steps to prevent civilian deaths.

A Yemeni man held a boy who was injured by the airstrike in Saada final week.CreditNaif Rahma/Reuters

Yemenis gathered final week next to a destroyed bus at the site of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted the Dahyan marketplace.CreditAgence France-Presse &mdash Getty Photos

&ldquoI am filming!&rdquo Osama yells as he walks among the graves.

Two other boys stand next to a fountain and he calls out, &ldquoCome here so I can take your picture.&rdquo There, the video ends.

The bus was supposed to continue to Saada, the provincial capital, for a visit to a historic mosque. But it by no means created it.

The group had stopped along the way to get juice and snacks when the bomb hit.

Ali Abdullah Hamlah, a local bakery owner, stated he heard the explosion and saw a large cloud billow from the website prior to seeing a young man covered in blood dragging himself away. Mr. Hamlah approached and saw the bodies of seven kids scattered around.

&ldquoIn some cases, only the upper bodies of the kids have been discovered,&rdquo he stated. The mangled body of one particular child was discovered on the roof of a building, propelled by the force of the blast.

Videos shot in the aftermath show the demolished bus with the lifeless bodies of two boys on the floor. Other boys are on the ground nearby. Some struggle to move. Other individuals are dead and eviscerated, their remains mixed up in the street with the detritus from the explosion.

&ldquoIt was the initial time in my life that I have seen such a horrific massacre,&rdquo Mr. Hamlah mentioned.

Amongst the dead was Osama, the boy who had filmed his classmates. His videos have been found on his telephone after the bombing, according to Yahya al-Shami, who works for the Houthis&rsquo Al-Maseera television station, which broadcast the pictures. Parents of boys on the bus confirmed the day&rsquos program and that their youngsters were in the video.

A couple of days later, neighborhood security officials showed The New York Times a metal fin they mentioned had been attached to the bomb and had been identified nearby. Writing on the fin indicated it was manufactured by Basic Dynamics and had been attached as a guidance technique on a 500-pound bomb. The Times could not confirm that the fin was from the bomb employed in the strike.

Published at Wed, 15 Aug 2018 22:49:57 +0000


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