Mohamed al-Hasni, the head of Hodeidah’s fishermen union, told Al Jazeera that there were no military targets in the area and “the targeting of fishermen was not expected”.
“The port and market were full of people. It was a massacre,” he said.
“There was no military presence in the area. No armed men were around at all. The targeting was aimed at spreading fear and terror.”
Last week’s massacres at the fish market and hospital were just the latest in an ongoing series of coalition attacks on civilian targets. As usual, the coalition denied all involvement despite the fact that they are the only belligerents capable of conducting airstrikes, and then even more absurdly tried to shift the blame for their crimes to the other side. The Saudi coalition has conducted tens of thousands of airstrikes since their intervention began, and at least a third of them have hit civilian targets according to the Yemen Data Project. As we have seen from many of the attacks in just the last few months, the coalition is not striking these targets by accident. Even if the attacks had been accidents, the coalition governments would still be guilty of war crimes because of their flagrant disregard for civilian life, and the U.S. would be complicit in those crimes on account of our military assistance to the coalition.
Shireen Al-Adeimi faults Congress for failing to halt U.S. support for the Saudi coalition’s atrocious war, and mentions last week’s attacks as proof:
The August 2 attack conducted by the Saudi-led Coalition on al-Thawra Hospital and a popular fish market in the embattled city of Hodeidah has been described by locals as a “massacre.” The airstrikes killed at least 55 civilians and left over 124 people injured, many of whom are fighting for their lives in health facilities that are barely functional due to repeated airstrikes and medicinal shortages resulting from the Saudi/UAE-imposed blockade. Whatever “protections” U.S. lawmakers are extending to Yemeni civilians, those protections did nothing to prevent this assault.
The Senate had the opportunity to halt all U.S. involvement in this war earlier this year, and they failed to do so. The certification requirements included in the new NDAA are a small step in the right direction, but as Al-Adeimi says they will do nothing to curtail U.S. involvement in the war or protect Yemeni civilians. The only way for the U.S. to do right by Yemen’s civilians is to follow Al-Adeimi’s recommendations. She concludes:
What Yemenis need is for the United States to end all its support to the Saudi-led coalition, which includes pulling out troops from the Saudi-Yemen border, ending all refueling missions and targeting assistance, ending all military contracts involving the training of Saudi military personnel and the maintenance of military vehicles and aircraft, and ending all sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The United States should end its unconstitutional war on Yemen, and Congress should not authorize military spending that will undoubtedly serve to prolong the same war some in Congress have been attempting to end.