SANAA, Jan. 15 (Saba) - One of the worst hit areas has been Yemen’s northern province of Saada, Saada City, the provincial capital, was founded before the fourth century B.C., as the hub of the Minaean Kingdom of Main.
The city’s key infrastructure was barbaric destroyed by coalition airstrikes.
Saudi Arabia and a coalition of nations supported by the United States launched an unrelenting aerial bombing campaign, there have been near-daily air raids ever since.
Many houses were destroyed in the city’s Rahban district, after coalition airstrikes hit the neighborhood, some of the buildings destroyed in this medieval city – a Unesco heritage site – were more than 500 years old.
Sa’ada’s central government ministry building was pounded by coalition force airstrikes, and much of the surrounding civilian district was destroyed.
Many of the offices and apartments close to the gates of Sa’ada city have been ruined by airstrikes. Children’s rights advocates warn of a ‘huge increase’ in the number of young Yemenis at risk of violence and food shortages in the country, more than half a million children are expected to suffer severe acute malnutrition this year.
In addition to the growing number of civilian casualties in the country’s four year war, U.S.-made bombs dropped by fighter jets from a Saudi Arabian-led coalition are pulverizing Yemen’s architectural history, often referred to as a living museum.
These airstrikes are tearing villages apart, forcibly displacing thousands and erasing the country’s inimitable heritage, possibly in violation of international humanitarian law, according to the world heritage body, UNESCO.
"Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of ten," the head of the ICRC in Yemen, Johannes Bruwer, said on his Twitter account, adding that the ICRC in Yemen is "sending additional supplies to hospitals to cope with the influx."
The ICRC stressed that "under international humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict", while the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland called it a "grotesque, shameful" attack that showed "blatant disregard for rules of war."
Al-Molukzam educational training institute in Sa’ada was hit many times, school books were burned and the attached government teacher training college was destroyed.
The Coalition targeted the communications network with 27 air strikes in Razih district.
Yemen's stalemated, three-year war has killed over 10,000 people, badly damaged Yemen's infrastructure and crippled its health system, the coalition faces widespread international criticism for its airstrikes in Yemen that kill civilians.
International concern about the humanitarian situation has grown as the air strikes have killed more than 1,300 people, sent others fleeing from their homes and wrecked infrastructure, causing shortages of food, medicine and fuel.
Ibrahim al-Sabra, 23, and his relatives were one of more than 100 families who fled their homes to escape an apparently deliberate tactic of forced displacement of civilians that could amount to a war crime under Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the bombardment that destroyed his home started just after 3 a.m. and killed two of al-Sabra’s cousins.
“Now we have no home, it’s gone forever,” said al-Sabra, who is struggling to rent a house for his family in the city. “Rahban is where the poorest people in Saada City lived. The only thing of value that we had was our homes.” The newest houses there were more than 100 years old.
The mosque is the final resting place of Imam al-Hadi ila’l-Haqq Yahya, the first Shiite Zaydi imam of Yemen, who died in 911 A.D. Local legend has it that the site of the mosque is where the Prophet Mohammed’s camel once rested, but today, the mosque’s prominent green dome is cracked like an eggshell and its doors blown out. Repeated ground-shaking strikes just a few feet from the high walls surrounding the structure have crumbled its ceilings, for the first time in its 1,200-year history. Almost 10,000 people - two-thirds of them civilians - have been killed and 55,000 others injured in the fighting, according to the United Nations.
The fighting and a partial blockade by the coalition has also left 22 million people in need of humanitarian aid, created the world's largest food security emergency, and led to a cholera outbreak that is thought to have affected a million people.
American and British support for the bombing campaign continues despite calls from human rights organizations to halt weapons supplies to the Saudi-led coalition in the wake of what Amnesty International called “damning evidence of war crimes.
A joint report by the U.K.-based charity Action on Armed Violence and the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs concluded that airstrikes were responsible for 60 percent of civilian casualties.
Written by Mona Zaid