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As Trump Avoids Congress to Send More Bombs to Saudis, Airstrike Kills Seven Yemeni Children

"Nowhere is safe for children in Yemen. The conflict is haunting them in their homes, schools, and playgrounds."

Yemeni mourners carry coffins of women and children who were killed in airstrikes carried out previously by the Saudi-led coalition's warplanes in the Hajjah province during a funeral ceremony on March 14, 2019 in Sana'a, Yemen.

Yemeni mourners carry coffins of women and children who were killed in airstrikes carried out previously by the Saudi-led coalition's warplanes in the Hajjah province during a funeral ceremony on March 14, 2019 in Sana'a, Yemen. Those airstrikes left approximately 20 women and children dead and more than 20 injured. (Photo: Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

The head of the United Nations children's agency on Sunday reiterated her call for peace in Yemen after a Saudi-led aistrike on a fuel station near the southern city of Taizz killed 12 civilians including seven children—an attack that came as the Trump administration used a legal loophole to sell more bombs to the kingdom.

The latest casualties, said UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore, bring number of children killed or harmed over just the last 10 days to 27.

"These are only the numbers that the United Nations has been able to confirm; actual numbers are likely to be even higher," said Fore.

"Nowhere is safe for children in Yemen," she added. "The conflict is haunting them in their homes, schools, and playgrounds."

The latest airstrike took place Friday, and UNICEF's figures represent an updated death toll. A medic and Houthi rebel forces had told Agence France-Presse Saturday that nine civilians were killed, with two children among them.

Lise Grande, the U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, issued a statement Saturday reflecting the updated death toll.

"The parties must realize that they are accountable for every man, woman, and child killed or injured in this senseless conflict," she said. "No one is above the laws of war."

On Friday, the Trump administration announced it was invoking emergency powers to approve billions of dollars in American-made arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. As Common Dreams reported, the administration took advantage of a provision in the Arms Export Control Act allowing "the president to make an end run around Congress for arms sales if he determines 'an emergency exists which requires the proposed sale in the national security interest of the United States.'" 

Ahead of the official announcement, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who helped lead an ultimately unsuccessful House effort to end U.S. military involvement in Yemen, sharply criticized he move.

"Every bomb sold to Saudi Arabia is another bomb for Saudi bomber jets to drop on Yemeni hospitals, weddings, markets, and school buses," Khanna said. "Any claim from President Trump that selling weapons to Saudi Arabia constitutes an 'emergency' is a farcical attempt to obscure the shameful reality that 'made in the U.S.A' bombs are killing innocent civilians and fueling the world's worst humanitarian emergency in Yemen."

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