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Saudi coalition targets buses of fleeing civilians in Hodeida, killing 19

There are no humanitarian corridors in Hodeida to allow civilians to flee or ambulance crews to transport the wounded to hospitals outside of the province. To make matter worse, a seemingly endless barrage of coalition airstrikes presents a constant danger to those seeking to flee the fighting.

by Ahmed Abdulkareem

In a familiar atmosphere of fatalities that have come to mark the passing of a day in Hodeida, at least 49 people were killed or injured on Saturday when two Saudi Coalition airstrikes targeted two buses carrying civilians fleeing the fighting on a highway in Jabal Ras district in Hodeida.

Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population said in a statement to MintPress that at least 19 people were killed in the attack, and 30 others were injured. Many of the victims were women and children, including five members of the same family.

Rescue efforts were complicated by the fear of additional airstrikes, as Saudi warplanes continued to circle the area after the initial strikes. Saudi Arabia has been known to use double-tap strikes in Yemen, carrying out an initial airstrike and then circling back to target rescuers.

Doctors at Hodeida Hospital said that the wounded are in very serious condition and will require intensive care. They went on to say that some victims will likely not survive due to the difficulty of moving patients between hospitals.

There are no humanitarian corridors in Hodeida to allow civilians to flee or ambulance crews to transport the wounded to hospitals outside of the province. To make matter worse, a seemingly endless barrage of coalition airstrikes presents a constant danger to those seeking to flee the fighting.

Over the course of the conflict in Yemen, the coalition has carried out a policy of targeting internally displaced people fleeing the fighting. On August 24, coalition airstrikes targeted displaced families near the port city of Hodeida, killing or injuring 31 people, including 24 children. Many of the victims of the strike belonged to a single family.

More recently, a man, his wife, and their nine-year-old daughter were killed, along with 10 others, when a coalition airstrike targeted the home of a displaced family in the Mustaba district in the province of Hajjah, southwestern Yemen on October 2, 2018.

The coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States, has stepped up attacks on Hodeida in recent weeks, prompting thousands of families to seek refuge elsewhere in the country. But those fleeing the violence in the vital port city often become targets of coalition aircraft themselves.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s Ansar Allah has captured new strategic military locations deep inside the Saudi region of Jizan. The media branch of Ansar Allah released footage showing the moment that the َGanbour military base and Saudi military outposts near it, were captured.

This development came after MintPress revealed that the Yemen’s army changed its approach from hit-and-run attacks, in which troops target a military outpost or base and quickly withdraw, to a strategy in which Yemeni forces would seize control of and retain Saudi military sites.

A source inside of Yemen’s military, who wished to remain anonymous, told MintPress that the army plans to launch military operations in a bid to control more Saudi military sites in the Saudi regions of Jizan, Asir, and Najran, as long as the coalition continues its military campaign against Hodeida.

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