Air strikes by a coalition of Arab nations on Saada city in Yemen are in breach of international law, despite calls for civilians to leave the area, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen said.
“The indiscriminate bombing of populated areas, with or without prior warning, is in contravention of international humanitarian law,” Johannes van der Klaauw said in a statement on Saturday.
“Many civilians are effectively trapped in Saada as they are unable to access transport because of the fuel shortage. The targeting of an entire governorate will put countless civilians at risk,” van der Klaauw said.
According to Aljazeera, the coalition said on Saturday it had hit Yemen with 130 air strikes over the previous 24 hours.
The coalition had called on civilians to evacuate Saada, the city in northern Yemen where support for Houthi rebels is strongest, before the bombing but it was unclear how they could leave.
A coalition spokesman said the latest wave of aerial bombing, on about 100 locations, was in response to the shelling of Saudi border areas by Houthi forces this week.
The air strikes targeted bases of Houthi leaders across Saada and Hajja provinces, said Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, as well as hitting tanks and other military vehicles, Aljazeera reports.