GENEVA, Feb. 13 (Saba) - Extremely worrying reports suggest that civilians and civilian objects have been targeted, in violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, over the past two weeks, in the southwestern port of Al Mokha in Taiz Governorate in Yemen, the United Nations human rights agency warned.
While the intense fighting – both ground fighting and airstrikes – made it impossible for UN Human Rights Office field monitors to access the area and to verify the number of civilian casualties, credible reports indicate that civilians were caught in an intolerable situation.
In at least one incident, on 22 January, 11 civilians were reportedly killed and four injured inside a house that was struck by (Saudi aggression) airstrike. According to reports, more than 200 houses have been either partially damaged or completely destroyed by the airstrikes, which also hit Al Mokha Port.
“Civilians were trapped and targeted during the Al Mokha fighting," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said.
"There are real fears that the situation will repeat itself in the port of Al Hudaidah, to the north of Al Mokha, where air strikes are already intensifying,” Al Hussein said. “The already catastrophic humanitarian situation in the country could spiral further downwards if Al Hudaidah port – a key entry point for imports into Yemen – is seriously damaged,” he added.
The UN estimates that around 12 million people are facing famine in Yemen, with 3.3 million people - including 2.1 million children - already acutely malnourished.