Cluster bombs, banned by 116 countries, are regularly used on the battlefield in Yemen, dangerously close to civilians. These CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) from Textron Systems of Wilmington, Massachusetts are supplied by the USA to KSA and UAE.
The World Health Organization (WHO) called for US$ 31 million to ensure the continuity of health services for nearly 15 million people in Yemen affected by the ongoing conflict in order to reduce the risk of disease outbreaks, provide life-saving medications and vaccinate children.
At the Yemeni peace talks in Switzerland, the Saudi coalition tried to restrict the negotiations in order to avoid confirming the 7-day truce, instead insisting on limiting the hostage swap. It seems that they used this opportunity to redeploy their mercenary forces in the region. On the other hand, the Houthi alliance insisted on all its demands including the confirmation of the ceasefire. The only positive result is the agreement to send relief aid to the civilians in Ta’izz province.
A prisoner exchange along the boundary between Yemen and KSA saw 375 Houthi alliance fighters as well as 285 Saudi coalition militiamen exchanged. As the prisoner exchange got underway, the Saudi alliance was accused of “serious escalation by land, sea and air.”
Human Rights Watch (HRW) blasted the Saudi coalition for apparent war crimes and failure to investigate bombings of homes, schools, and refugee camps. The coalition has also bombed medical facilities, markets, schools, power plants, refugee camps, factories, and warehouses storing humanitarian supplies.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) slammed Saudi Arabia for carrying out military attacks against civilians in Yemen. Addressing the UN Security Council’s first public meeting on the crisis affecting Yemen, he said “a disproportionate amount” of the attacks against the civilians “appeared to be the result of airstrikes carried out by Saudi coalition forces,” and added that he had “observed with extreme concern” heavy aerial shelling in civilian areas, including the destruction of hospitals and schools.
The head of Ansarullah’s Political Council accused Saudi Arabia of taking advantage of the ceasefire, saying Riyadh had intensified its airstrikes against the country’s Ma’rib, Ta’izz, and Jawf provinces.
Written by Akram Abu Abs exclusively for SouthFront
- December 16, violent clashes broke out on Wednesday between Abida tribes and Saudi coalition troops in Ma’rib province. Abida tribesmen forced al-Ahmar mercenaries out of Khashm al-Aswad site in Abida valley, captured many armored vehicles and weapons and left many killed and wounded fighters from both sides.
- December 18, Saudi coalition warplanes struck a residential neighborhood in al-Kitaf district, Sa’ada province, leaving 23 people dead. Two people were injured when Saudi cluster bombs were dropped on the Maran district of Sa’ada. Meanwhile, mercenaries, trained and equipped in Saudi Arabia took control of the Harad district, Hajjah province. Saudi coalition warplanes and missiles also targeted the Baqim and Zahir districts, Sa’ada Province, with no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
- December 18, the Houthi alliance fired a Qaher-1 (Conqueror-1) ballistic missile at a military base in Saudi Arabia’s Najran province. They also launched an OTR-21 Tochka ballistic missile at the Tadawil military camp in Ma’rib province. Two Saudi soldiers were killed and a M1 Abrams battle tank was also destroyed.
- December 18, four members of the US Blackwater/Academi mercenaries were killed in the province of Ta’izz. They were reportedly of Italian, South African, Rwandan and Pakistani nationalities. Saudi coalition militants have captured the capital al Hazm, al Jawf province, taking advantage of the UN-backed ceasefire. The Houth alliance said the group had conveyed its official complaint to the UN over the ceasefire violations and that the priority and focus of the talks should be a cessation of fighting.
- December 18, several missile attacks targeted Saudi Arabia’s key military bases and positions in Jizan province, inflicting heavy losses on the kingdom’s forces. Tochka ballistic missiles hit the Saudi army’s gathering centers in Jizan province and a Qaher-I missile at Saudi forces’ bases in Najran. Saudi governmental buildings in al-Rabou’a, Asir province, were also hit. The Houthi alliance also fired 52 rockets at the border regions of Alab, al-Sheibani, al-Hazar and al-Thurein in Asir province.
- December 19, a Tochka ballistic missile hit the Saudi-led coalition’s camp in Ma’rib province, and killed over 180 troops, including Saudi and UAE officers. An ammunition depot and two Apache helicopters of the pro-Saudi aggressors were also destroyed.
- December 20, first Qaher-I ballistic missiles targeted Khalid bin Abdulaziz air base in Asir province. Second Qaher-I ballistic missile hit the Saudi coalition’s command headquarters in Sha’ab al-Jen region near Bab al-Mandeb, Ta’izz province. Over 150 soldiers, including 23 Saudi troops, 9 UAE officers and soldiers, seven Moroccan officers and 42 Blackwater/Academi mercenaries were killed.
- December 20, more than 85 Saudi coalition mercenaries were killed in a third Qaher-I ballistic missile attack on the al-Safer military base in Ma’rib province. A number of military vehicles and a special drone unit at the base were destroyed.
- December 20, Houthi alliance missiles destroyed two more Saudi military boats near the port city of Mocha, Taiz province, on the Red Sea coast.
- December 20, Saudi coalition warplanes targeted a residential area in Hudaydah province, killing at least six civilians, including children, and wounded dozens more. Four houses were completely destroyed and several others damaged. They also conducted strikes on Harard district, Hajjah province and on al-Teyal district, Sana’a province. Separately, at least five women were killed in strikes targeting a house in the Kitaf district, Sa’ada province.
- December 20, a huge offensive launched by the Houthi alliance inside Saudi Arabia. They stormed Saudi position and captured Al-Khubah town as Saudi coalition forces retreated. Saudi coalition also lost control of a military base and in full retreat with some laying down their weapons and surrendering. The Houthi alliance is in full control of Shabakat and Mustahdath villages in the Jizan region of Saudi-Arabia.
- December 20, the Saudi coalition fired 40 rockets on the regions of Al-Zaher and Shada, Sa’ada province and also pounded Ta’iz province and western parts of the city of Sana’a and took control of two mountains in the Nihm district which is about 60 km northeast of the capital Sana’a.
- December 21, at least seven people were killed and 12 others wounded in an airstrike targeting the Haya al-Shuhada district of al-Hudaydah in breach of the ceasefire.
- December 21, the Houthi alliance destroyed an 11th Saudi military boat off the coast of Mocha city in Ta’izz province, as it was trying to get closer to the Mocha’s coast. They said they will continue to strongly repulse any violations committed by the Saudi coalition in Yemen’s territorial waters as a right guaranteed by all international charters and laws.
- December 22, the Houthi alliance bombed Qulal al-Shaibani sites in Jizan area, killing and wounding a number of Saudi soldiers and destroying a military vehicle. The al-Mehdhar military site and Saudi coalition troop gatherings behind the governmental complex in Rabuah, Asir province, were also shelled.
- December 22, a Qaher-I ballistic missile hit facilities belonging to Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant Aramco in the country’s southwest.
- December 22, at least seven civilians lost their lives and a couple of others sustained injuries when Saudi coalition aerial bombardment struck a house in Safra district, Sa’ada province. Another air raid targeted a house in Kitaf district, leaving several casualties. Two other civilians were also killed in Saudi airstrikes on a fuel station in the Beyhan district, Shabwah province.
In an attempt to curb the increasing violence, a renewable seven-day ceasefire under United Nations auspices was agreed between warring sides in Yemen and went into effect on December 15, but it has been repeatedly violated, mainly by the Saudi war machine.
Meanwhile, the UN released a report on the war-torn country, saying some 1.8 million children have had to drop out of classes due to the Saudi aggression against the country. Moreover, some 170 schools have been demolished in air raids and some 600 others sustained partial damage.
The report further said that around 14 million people lack sufficient access to healthcare assistance, and that the unabated aerial aggression has left over 2.5 million people internally displaced, an eight-fold increase since the beginning of the attacks.
Saudi Arabia’s military attacks against Yemen have so far claimed the lives of more than 7,500 people and injured over 14,000 others.