At least 14 Yemeni civilians were killed in Saudi-led airstrikes in a village market near Yemen’s battleground third city Taez as a nearly three-year bombing campaign intensified, an official and medics said Wednesday.
Strikes also killed 11 rebel fighters and wounded 16 civilians, a local official loyal to the Saudi-backed government told the French news agency AFP.
The unnamed official said the strikes were intended as air support for a local revolt against the Houthi rebels in the village of Al-Haima, northeast of Taez, but the warplanes hit the wrong target.
Taez is held by forces loyal to the Saudi-backed government but much of the surrounding countryside is in the hands of the Houthi rebels and it has been a key battleground in the country’s devastating civil war.
The news comes as reports said Monday that Saudi Arabian jets killed more than 70 civilians, including at least 11 children, in less than 48 hours.
Aid organizations, including the United Nations, estimate that almost 10,000 people have been killed, more than half of them civilians, since March 2015 when Saudi Arabia began its ground and air military campaign against Yemen in a bid to oust the Houthis who had taken over the capital Sanaa and ousted the Saudi-backed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Also last week the International Committee of the Red Cross said that Yemen's cholera epidemic has reached one million suspected cases, as the Saudi-led war against the impoverished nation leaves more than 80 percent of the population short of food, fuel, clean water and access to healthcare.
Yemen has also been under a complete blockade since November which has meant that the country has no access to “fuel, essential for moving food and other vital goods around the country, Oxfam said in its report last week marking 1,000 days of war in country.
Millions of people have also fled their homes in the poorest country in the Middle East as Saudi’s Western allies continue to support the war and provide logistical and military support to the kingdom. However, despite the superior military support, Riyadh has so far failed to achieve its objective of disposing the Houthi government which continues to control the capital.