6 children dead in Yemen as Saudi-led coalition airstrike hits school

People gather around the wreckage of a house destroyed by an air strike in the Bait Rejal village, west of Yemen's capital Sanaa April 7, 2015. (Reuters / Khaled Abdullah)

People gather around the wreckage of a house destroyed by an air strike in the Bait Rejal village, west of Yemen’s capital Sanaa April 7, 2015. (Reuters / Khaled Abdullah)

Half a dozen children were killed after a rocket hit a school in a Saudi-led coalition air raid in central Yemen, Sputnik reported citing a military source. The Red Cross has warned of a “catastrophic” situation as shelling in Yemen intensified.

“So far we have
recovered the bodies of three students, the bodies of the
remaining [three students] are still being removed,”
source told the agency.

The targeted school was reportedly in a central province, located
between Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and the port city of Aden.

MORE: Al-Qaeda militants attack Yemen-Saudi Arabia border post –

PressTV also reported the airstrikes hitting a school in Yemen’s
central Ibb governorate, stating that at least six children were

Similar reports were covered by the CNN, which cited Yemen’s
officials as saying that the airstrike hit the school while
targeting a nearby military base. At the time of the attack,
children were on their way to lunch. The school is allegedly
located just 500 meters from the base.

In late March, five Gulf states and Egypt launched airstrikes
targeting Shiite Houthi rebels, who had seized the Yemeni capital
and large territories in the west of the country. Jordan, Sudan,
Morocco and Pakistan also expressed willingness to join in the
military operation.

The death toll in Yemen has been climbing since the Saudi-led
assault began, rising to at least 560 people dead and 1,768
wounded – most of them civilians – the World Health Organization
(WHO) said Tuesday. Around 100,000 people are also said to have
fled their homes.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimated that 74
children have been killed since the start of the airstrikes and
44 others have been injured.

‘Children being killed’

The humanitarian situation is worsening every day, spokeswoman
for the Red Cross Marie Claire Feghali told AFP on Tuesday,
describing it as “very difficult” with “naval, air
and ground routes cut off.”

The atmosphere in Aden is “catastrophic to say the
she added. “The war in Aden is on every street,
in every corner … Many are unable to escape.”

MORE: Escape from Yemen: Refugees tell RT ‘the whole city was

UNICEF’s Yemen representative, Julien Harneis, said that children
are particularly vulnerable in Yemen.

“They are being killed, maimed and forced to flee their
homes, their health threatened and their education
according to a statement released on Monday.

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) said that many injured do not have
the infrastructure to reach local hospitals. MSF’s
Marie-Elisabeth Ingres specified that hospitals in in Aden had
“not received large numbers of casualties over the past few
days … due to the difficulties faced in trying to reach a

According to the Red Cross, it has been tough getting aid inside
Yemen. Geneva-based spokeswoman for the Red Cross told AP on
Tuesday that 17 tons of medical supplies are stored in a cargo
plane in Jordan. It needs approval form the coalition in order to
land in Sanaa. Another 35 tons is also ready to be shipped.

“If these medical supplies do not reach Yemen, then
unfortunately we are afraid many more people will die,”

Jabeen said.

US to step up arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia

The US announced on Tuesday that it is speeding up weapons
supplies. It is also stepping up intelligence sharing with the
Saudi-led coalition, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken

“Saudi Arabia is sending a strong message to the Houthis and
their allies that they cannot overrun Yemen by force,”

Blinken told reporters in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

“As part of that effort, we have expedited weapons
deliveries, we have increased our intelligence sharing, and we
have established a joint coordination planning cell in the Saudi
operation center,”
he said.

MORE: Saudi Arabia prepares for possible ground offensive in
Yemen, Iran calls for ‘dialogue’

Colonel Steve Warren at the Pentagon added that existing arms
delivery orders will be expedited.

“It’s a combination of pre-existing orders made by our
partner nations and some new requirements as they expend
Warren said.

Overall, Saudi Arabia has been one of the top buyers of US
weapons under President Barack Obama, totaling $46 billion in new
agreements, according to a recent report by William Hartung,
director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for
International Policy.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday that “the
US military continues to support the efforts of Saudi Arabia and
some of their partners in the region to try to address the
security situation along their border that they’re justifiably
concerned about.”

MORE: ‘Saudi Arabia saving democracy in Yemen? That’s a cruel

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