Wednesday, 3 June 2015

3rd June 2015, Saudi led coalition airstrike decimate a Yemen village killing at least 55, including 35 children and 11 women

On 3rd June 2015, a Saudi led coalition airstrike hit a cluster of houses in al-Eram, a village in the North West of Sa'da city, killing 55 residents including 35 children and 11 women, and decimating an entire community.

This is Amnesty International's report of the incident:


When coalition forces airstrikes destroyed a cluster of nine houses in the eastern side of al-‘Eram, they decimated a community. The attack, which took place at about 5pm, killed at least 55 residents and injured nine others. Those killed included 35 children and 11 women.

In the village, north-west of Sa’da city, survivors told Amnesty International that several consecutive airstrikes hit the village and that the strikes had continued while rescue efforts were underway to look for bodies and survivors in the rubble.

Salah Basrallah, a farmer, lost 21 family members, including his six children and his wife, in the bombing. He told Amnesty International:

“My brother Saleh and his wife Alya, my wife Amina Mohamed, my mother Fatimat Hadi, my six children and my brother’s children were all killed. A total of 21 were killed in my family. At the time of the strikes, I was at the farm, outside the village. My wife was in the house, my children were playing outside. I heard the airstrike and I came to find my house had become a mound of rubble. We did not find some of the dead until days later. We had to dig in the rubble to look for the bodies while the planes were still flying overhead after the airstrikes.”

Ghaleb Dhaifallah, a father of four, whose 11-year-old son, was killed in the bombing, described the attack to Amnesty International:

“At the time of the airstrikes, I was at a friend’s house around 200 meters from here. There were four strikes. There was a gap of one hour between the second, third and fourth attack. My eldest son Mu’az was killed, he was 11 years old. He was injured by shrapnel in the head and died on the spot. He was playing with Sadeq Hamoud’s four children, my uncle’s two daughters and some other children they all died on the spot. About 12 of them were not buried in the rubble. The rest were under the rubble. We had to dig for a long time to find the bodies. I swear there were no arms depots here or any [Huthi] leader here. It’s just a place where normal citizens live.”

Residents said that it took five days to dig out all the bodies and that some of the victims were killed when coalition forces struck the area again while rescue efforts were underway. They said that no Huthi leaders or fighters were residing in the village. Amnesty International found no evidence of military activities in the village. Residents showed Amnesty International a disused school on the eastern edge of the village that had been bombed by coalition forces a month prior to the strikes on the village, causing no casualties as the school was not in use. They also showed researchers remnants of MK 80 series bombs, which they said they found in the rubble.

Amnesty International could not establish the identity of each and every victim of the attack. However, what is clear is that a large majority of the victims were civilian women and children. Even if Huthi fighters were among those killed in the attack, their presence in and of itself would not make these homes military objectives. An attack targeting the fighters would need to take into account the presence of so many civilians. Carrying out the strikes when so many civilians were present would likely make it a disproportionate attack.


The following documentary includes live footage from the 4th and 5th strikes of this incident (it says there were 8 altogether) and it talks about baby Khadijah who was pulled out alive from the rubble.

WARNING, the following media is GRAPHIC and DISTRESSING. It is put here as evidence to support the call for an independent enquiry into war crimes and to call on the West to stop supplying arms to Saudi Arabia.

The following report by the Legal Center for Rights and Development confirms the event, stating 52 dead, including 35 children and 10 women, plus 14 injured (in addition to many other incidents).

Ref: 15060301

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