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16 killed, including 7 children, four women in Yemen airstrikes

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Sixteen people, including seven children, were killed in two air strikes in southern Yemen on Tuesday, attributed to the Saudi-led military coalition, in the bloodiest attack in the war-torn country since rebels announced a moratorium on targeting the kingdom as part of a “peace initiative” less than a week ago.

The attack on a house in the Houthi-controlled Qutaba district of Dali province came about 10 days after attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil company in eastern Saudi Arabia were claimed by Iranian-backed Houthis.

“An entire family was killed,” a local official in al-Dhali told AFP by telephone. “The rest of the dead were paramedics from the village, where they rushed to help the victims.”

“The plane returned and killed them” in a second strike, he said, adding that the death toll from the two strikes reached 16 people.

A doctor at the al-Thawra General Hospital in the nearby Ibb governorate (40 km from Qataba) confirmed the bodies of the dead, saying the dead included seven children and four women.

“The bodies were pulled from under the rubble and were cut into pieces,” a witness at the scene told AFP.

The local official said the Saudi-led military coalition was likely to be behind the air strike. The rebels also accused the coalition of carrying out the two strikes that targeted the house of Abbas al-Hilmi.

The coalition did not answer AFP questions about the attack.

Since 2014, Yemen has been at war between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the government of recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and the fighting intensified in March 2015 as Saudi Arabia intervened at the head of a military alliance in support of government forces.

The war has claimed about 10,000 lives and more than 56,000 wounded since 2015, according to the World Health Organization, but a number of humanitarian officials believe the actual toll is much higher.

Contrary to all expectations, the Houthi rebels on Friday evening launched a “peace initiative” by announcing a halt to attacks on Saudi Arabia pending a “salute of its kind or better” in a surprise move.

– 42 raids.

The Houthis adopted the September 14 attacks on the Khurais oil facility in eastern Saudi Arabia and the world’s largest crude refinery in Abqaiq, some 200 kilometers north of Khurais.

But Washington has confirmed that the attacks were launched from Iran.

The initiative was met with skepticism by Saudi Arabia, who said in the words of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir: “We judge other parties based on their actions and actions, not their words, so we will see whether they will actually implement it.”

Saudi Arabia has not announced any attacks against it since Friday, and the rebels have not announced any new attacks against the kingdom.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of Houthi supporters commemorated their takeover of Sanaa in a ceremony in which Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the Supreme Political Council and head of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee, warned against rejecting the initiative to stop the war.

“We warn the countries of aggression against rejecting the initiative of the president, and if they do not agree, we will hurt them more,” he said. “Escalation can only be met by escalation.”

The attack in Qataba is the deadliest since the unilateral truce was declared.

According to the military spokesman Yahya Seri, the coalition launched more than 42 air strikes on a number of Yemeni governorates on Monday, “targeting the homes and homes of citizens and their farms and the fall of eight martyrs and a number of wounded in the districts of Sufyan and Haradh.”

Al-Massira reported that the dead included seven members of one family, in a toll not confirmed by other sources.

The UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths met Monday with Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman, where he discussed with him “progress made in the level of calm,” according to his account on Twitter.

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