LONDON, Sept. 17 (SABA) – The most comprehensive investigative report released by London-based the Guardian daily found out that more than one-third of all Saudi-led air attacks against Yemen since March 2015 have hit civilian sites, such as school buildings, hospitals, markets, mosques and economic infrastructure.
The report, published by the Guardian on Friday, based on a survey conducted by the Yemen Data Project, a group of academics, human rights organizers and activists, detailing all-Saudi-led air strikes that deliberately targeted civilians and residential areas, as well as economic and cultural sites in Yemen.
The findings revealed that the Saudi aggression intensifies air attacks to coincide with its military and political setbacks. The escalations mainly aims at civilian targets.
The report records more than 8,600 air attacks between March 2015 and the end of August this year. Of these, 3,158 were listed as having hit civilian sites, including 942 struck residential quarters, 114 hit public markets, 34 mosques, 147 destroyed schools and 26 raided universities.
Based on the findings, the newspaper noted that the aggression countries concentrated their air attacks on some particular civilian sites, such as air striking a public market in Serwah district of Marib governorate with 24 strikes and a school in Dhubab town of Taiz governorate has been hit nine times.
In Saada, the Saudi-led aggression declared the whole governorate a military target but data shows air raids hit mostly non-military sites.
It said the most heavily-bombed region is Saada since the Saudi aggression in May 2015 dropped leaflets declaring all of Saada a military target and advising residents to leave.
Incidents involving non-military sites in Saada outnumber hits on military targets three to one in the database.
Findings of some air strikes against civilian targets in Saada indicates to the killing of 10 children in a school in Haidan area in August 2016, and a public market in Sihar district with five strikes and a mosque in the same area with 10 air attacks.
Taiz, the most densely populated governorate according to the Guardian, was the second highest percentage of air attacks involving non-military sites.
In September 2015, 135 people died in Taiz governorate when a wedding party was struck in the village of Wahija, near al-Mukha, and more than 30 died in June this year when airstrikes hit a market in Hayfan during the supposed ceasefire.
Taiz has also seen the largest number of school buildings struck in a single governorate with one site in al-Omary, Dhubab being hit nine times. Taiz airport and the docks in al-Mukha have been hit 16 and 18 times respectively.
In comments to the survey findings, the UK’s shadow defense secretary, Clive Lewis, said: “It’s sickening to think of British-built weapons being used against civilians and the government has an absolute responsibility to do everything in its power to stop that from happening. But as ministers turn a blind eye to the conflict in Yemen, evidence that humanitarian law has been violated is becoming harder to ignore by the day.”
The Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson, Tom Brake, said the data added more weight to calls for the suspension of arms sales. “Despite consistent evidence showing targeting of civilians, first Cameron and now May’s governments have continued their hypocritical defense of Saudi Arabia’s brutal campaign in Yemen,” he said.
The investigation into Saudi brutal air aggression also included a number of charts and graphics showing precise figures about civilian death tolls, the size of the destruction in civilian infrastructure, historical cities and civilian targets.