Ap and Afp

Newspaper La Jornada
Saturday, January 22, 2022, p. 18

Fury. A Saudi-led aerial bombardment of a prison run by Houthi rebels left at least 70 dead and 138 wounded yesterday, a rebel minister said. The attack was part of a military offensive that for hours left the poorest nation in the Arab world without Internet.

The intense offensive came after the Iranian-backed Houthis claimed responsibility for a drone and missile attack inside the UAE capital a few days ago. It represented a major escalation in the conflict, a brutal civil war in Yemen where the Saudi-led coalition, backed by Washington, has fought rebels since 2015.

Taha Al Motawakel, Minister of Health in the Houthi government that controls the north of the country, told AP in this capital that 70 detainees lost their lives in prison, but he expects that number to increase in the coming hours given that many of the injured were serious.

Hours earlier, a bombing of the impoverished city of Hodeidah, later confirmed by satellite photos analyzed by AP, hit a digital Internet communications center in Yemen. There have also been airstrikes near Sanaa, Yemen’s capital controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, since late 2014.

Basheer Omar, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Sana’a, gave the death toll to the AP. He said rescuers were still touring the prison site in the northern city of Saada, also controlled by the Houthis.

The Red Cross had transferred some of the injured to facilities in other parts of the country, he said. Doctors Without Borders reported in a separate statement that around 200 people had been injured.

The first reported casualties in Saada are a terrible thing, said Gillian Moyes, the director of Save the Children’s Yemen office. Migrants looking for a better life and their families. Dozens of Yemeni civilians injured, it is an image that we did not expect to see here. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis did not immediately claim responsibility for the Saada attack.

Regarding the airstrike in Hodeida, which apparently left Yemen without Internet, NetBlocks reported that the interruption of the connection to the network of networks began at 1 a.m. local and affected TeleYemen, the state monopoly that controls access to Internet in the country. TeleYemen is now in the hands of the Houthis.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the aerial bombardment and reminded all parties that attacks on civilians and private infrastructure are prohibited under international humanitarian law. The United States urged the parties involved to de-escalate the conflict in Yemen.