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Saudi Arabia hits another school in Yemen

A Yemeni child who was wounded in a Saudi airstrikes near the capital, Sana’a, receives treatment at a hospital, August 21, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Saudi pilots have launched yet another airstrike on a school in the Yemeni province of Ta’izz, with no information immediately available on possible casualties.

According to Yemen’s al-Masirah television, the air raid hit the al-Rawd school in the district of Dabab in western Ta’izz early on Monday.

In the war Saudi Arabia has launched on Yemen, the Saudi forces have been targeting schools, hospitals, residential buildings, roads, markets and refugee camps.

The war was launched in late March 2015, killing about 10,000 people so far, according to internal sources.

Back in June, the United Nations (UN) put Saudi Arabia on a blacklist of countries that kill and maim children. It concluded in a report that Riyadh had been responsible for 60 percent of the 785 deaths of children in the Saudi war on Yemen in 2015. A few days later, however, the world body announced that Saudi Arabia would be taken off the list pending a joint review with Saudi Arabia.

In rare remarks after the de-listing, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted that the decision had been made under “undue pressure” from Saudi Arabia.

Cowardice in the skies

Reports by media outlets in the United States — which has offered intelligence support for the Saudi war by helping Saudi forces acquire “targets” — have pointed to the incompetence as well as cowardice on the part of the Saudi pilots conducting airstrikes as some of the reasons why indiscriminate bombing occurs in Yemen.

A March 13 article on The New York Times cited “American officials” as pointing to “the ability of Saudi pilots, who were inexperienced in flying missions... and fearful of enemy ground fire.”

“As a result,” the article read, “they (the pilots) flew at high altitudes to avoid the threat below. But flying high also reduced the accuracy of their bombing and increased civilian casualties, American officials said.”

“American advisers suggested how the pilots could safely fly lower, among other tactics. But the airstrikes still landed on markets, homes, hospitals, factories and ports, and are responsible for the majority of the [then] 3,000 civilian deaths during the yearlong war, according to the United Nations,” the Times article further read.

A picture taken on November 16, 2015 shows a Saudi pilot with a blurred face preparing for boarding a F-15 fighter jets at the Khamis Mushayt military airbase in Saudi Arabia to conduct operations over Yemen. (Photo by AFP)

In the previous instance of indiscriminate bombing, scores of students were killed and injured in a Saudi airstrike against an elementary school in the province of Sa’ada less than a week ago.

On Friday, the US military said it had sharply reduced the number of its forces working with Saudi Arabia in the war on Yemen.

While some US officials have sought to distance the decision to downgrade military cooperation with Saudi Arabia from the rising outcry over the mounting civilian deaths caused in Yemen, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said on Friday that the US military support for the Saudi war on Yemen “does not mean that we will refrain from expressing our concern about the war in Yemen and how it has been waged.

Saudi Arabia has invaded Yemen in an attempt to reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who has resigned from the presidency but seeks to grab power again through the Saudi military intervention.

Houthi Ansarullah fighters and allied military units are fighting back the Saudi invaders and their mercenaries.

In a separate incident on Monday, Saudi airstrikes completely destroyed the political security building in the province of Sa’ada. A local source said Saudi warplanes launched three airstrikes against the building, completely demolishing it. No human casualties were reported.

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