Saudi-led coalition's bombing left hospitals in Yemen overwhelmed with dead and wounded victims
Scores of people have been killed and potentially hundreds have been injured by airstrikes in Yemen, the latest escalation in the Saudi Arabia-led coalition's war against Houthi rebels in the shattered country.
Targets struck on Friday reportedly included a prison and an airport in the northern city of Sa'ada, various government facilities and a telecommunications building in Hodeidah. Many of the victims were rushed to Al-Gumhourriyeh Hospital in Sa'ada, which received 138 wounded and 70 dead, according to the aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
Al-Gumhourriyeh is so overwhelmed that it can't accept any more patients, and at least two other hospitals in the city have received large numbers of casualties, MSF said. There are still many bodies at the scene of the most devastating strike, at the prison in Sa'ada.
"It is impossible to know how many people have been killed," said Ahmed Mahat, MSF's head of mission in Yemen. "It seems to have been a horrific act of violence."
The Red Cross said it sent medical supplies to two of the hospitals that were flooded with casualties. The bombing in Hodeidah knocked out internet service nationwide and allegedly killed at least three children. The online blackout has reportedly hampered efforts to deliver aid and gather information about the airstrikes.
The Saudi-led coalition said it had struck the port of Hodeidah and "military targets" in Sanaa, Yemen's capital. According to the state-owned Saudi Press Agency, the strikes were carried out "in response to the threat of hostile attacks."
The coalition intensified airstrikes in Yemen earlier this week in response to Houthi drone attacks in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia's partner in the war.
Houthi spokesman Yahya Sare'e claimed the attacks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were retaliation for the coalition's escalating aggression in Yemen. After Friday's devastating airstrikes, Sare'e signaled another cycle of retaliation, saying "we advise the foreign companies in the Emirates to leave because they invest in an unsafe country, and the rulers of this country continue in their aggression against Yemen."