Dozens of residents of Yemeni’s capital avoided likely injuries or death after a bomb, thought to be dropped by the Saudi-led coalition, fell into a residential block but failed to explode. A witness told RT the strike targeted a civilian-only area.
Only a day after the brief “humanitarian ceasefire” ended in
Yemen, residents of a densely populated neighborhood in central
Sanaa barely escaped death as a huge 1.5-meter shell came
crashing through the ceiling of an apartment, shattering walls
Terrified locals rushed to the house to examine the scene after
the shell apparently failed to detonate. Surreal pictures of a
bomb lying almost intact on what could have been a sofa were
posted by witnesses on Twitter.
سقط صباح اليوم صاروخ ألقته طيران العدوان السعودي الأمريكي على
أحدالمنازل في حي حدةبالعاصمةصنعاءإلاأن الصاروخ لم ينفجر
— حامد البخيتي (@hamedalbukhiti) May
RT contacted a witness called Hussein Al-Bukhiti, who said the
shell landed in an apartment block close to where he lives while
it was full of people.
“It’s a totally civilian neighborhood, there isn’t any army
[facilities] or anti-aircraft guns in that area,” Al-Bukhiti
stressed, saying that if the bomb had exploded, there would have
been “hundreds” of casualties, mostly women and
There are no bomb shelters in the area, so the only place Yemeni
civilians can seek shelter during air raids are their homes,
The incident took place amid renewed air raids against the Shiite
Houthi rebels launched by Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen,
and has been blamed on the coalition by the locals.
According to Al-Bukhiti, “the Saudi aggression is targeting
all the country despite the fact there’re 25 million people
living in Yemen… You can tell from the high number of casualties
among civilians that they’re attacking everything in Yemen.”
He described the incessant strikes that have been shaking Sanaa
“every day, if not every hour” since March 26, except
for the period of the recent five-day ceasefire.
However, he added that the coalition did not heed the ceasefire
elsewhere, with the northern Saada province, a Houthi stronghold,
coming under fire daily.
The witness has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes:
“The only thing that they had [done] in [Saada capital]
Sadah, is that they dropped leaflets and they asked all the
people of Saada province to leave the whole province as it would
be declared a military target and every place would be targeted.
This is a crime against humanity because how can you ask 1
million people to leave after having a blockade of two months,
where people have no fuel to use their cars, where all the
bridges, all the roads across the country have been destroyed.
There is no way for many people to go or to take shelter because
every area is targeted.”
The strikes resumed despite a UN plea to extend the ceasefire for
further delivery of food, fuel and medicine to the devastated
regions of Yemen. Hundreds fled the worst affected districts of
Sanaa, while coalition warplanes pummeled rebel-held military
depots and positions. Airstrikes also targeted the southern city
of Aden, where forces loyal to the ousted president Abd-Rabbu
Mansour Hadi have been fighting with the Houthis and loyalists of
the former strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.
According to UN humanitarian agency UNHCR, 1,849 people had been
killed and 7,394 others had been injured in the Yemeni conflict
as of May 15.
With Saudi Arabia training anti-Houthi fighters on the Yemeni
border, despite promising a commitment to a diplomatic solution
to the crisis and UN-brokered talks, Sanaa residents fear the
worst-case scenario of street battles and complete devastation
will soon be upon them.
“Soon Sanaa will be like Aden and Taiz…There has been a big
build-up since before the ceasefire and I think now there will be
a big fight,” a tribesman from the central province of Ibb
told the Financial Times.
Reports suggest that a conservative Sunni military leader, Major
General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, has become a major figure in the
Saudi-sponsored anti-Houthi force. Al-Ahmar, who is referred to
as an Islamist, is believed to have been a chief orchestrator in
planning the military campaign in Yemen, raising concerns that
Islamists would take over the power in the Gulf country, should
the ground operation against the Houthis prove to be successful.