Locals Say US-Backed Saudi Coalition Bombed Yemeni Wedding Party. Again.
Up to 30 killed in strike that hit house in southern Yemen
The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition is suspected of being responsible for an airstrike that killed up to 30 people attending a wedding celebration in Yemen on Wednesday.
It marks the second strike to hit a Yemeni wedding party in less than two weeks, with a Sept. 28 strike killing at least 131 people.
"The USA and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law." —Donatella Rovera, Amnesty InternationalWednesday's strike occurred in the town of Sanban, located about 60 miles south of Sanaa, hitting a house where three brothers were to take part in a joint wedding ceremony.
The exact death toll is unclear, with estimates in media reports ranging from at least 13 to at least 30. "Local hospitals have been overwhelmed with victims, [local security] officials said," CNN reports.
Coalition forces have not taken responsibility for the attack, but local residents say they are to blame.
"Coalition warplanes launched the attack. The house was completely destroyed," witness Taha al-Zuba told Agence-France Presse. "Warplanes were heard in the area ahead of the attack."
Muhammed al-Sanabani, the father of the men who were to be married, told the New York Times, "I saw bodies lying in the yard, decapitated, charred."
Human rights organization Amnesty International released a report this week—entitled ‘Bombs fall from the sky day and night’: Civilians under fire in northern Yemen—and called for a suspension of transfers of arms implicated in war crimes to the coalition.
"The USA and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's senior crisis response adviser.
In a statement, the organization added: "More civilians have died as a result of coalition airstrikes than from any other cause during the conflict in Yemen."