The United Nations humanitarian coordinator denounced the U.S.-backed Saudi airstrike campaign in Yemen as "absurd and futile" on Thursday, as 68 civilian deaths were reported following two attacks in one day, and urged the Saudi coalition to seek negotiations to end the conflict.
"I remain deeply disturbed by mounting civilian casualties caused by escalated and indiscriminate attacks throughout Yemen," said Jamie McGoldrick in a statement. "As the conflict in which civilians have borne the brunt marks 1,000 days, I once again remind all parties that it has no military solution. There can only be a political solution."
Fifty-four people were killed and 32 were wounded in an airstrike that hit a marketplace in Taez province on Tuesday, while 14 family members were killed in a bombing in Hodeidah province that same day.
The Saudis have received support from the U.S., the U.K., and France in the form of fuel and weapons as they've carried out attacks in Yemen since 2015, fighting against the Houthi rebels.
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The war has left the country—already one of the most impoverished in the world—on the brink of famine; fighting a cholera epidemic that's worsened rapidly, affecting more than a million people since April; and struggling to treat those affected by disease as the Saudis have imposed blockades, keeping food and medicine from reaching the country. More than 10,000 civilians have been killed in the violence.
"These incidents prove the complete disregard for human life that all parties, including the Saudi-led coalition, continue to show in this absurd war that has only resulted in the destruction of the country and the incommensurate suffering of its people," said McGoldrick.
In recent weeks, detractors of the U.S. government's support for the Saudis have ramped up their criticism, with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) slamming the U.S.-supported blockade as "barbaric" and calling on officials to ensure the Saudis are not using starvation as a weapon of war.