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'Yemen war death toll exceeds 91,000'

The photo, taken on January 20, 2018, shows a destroyed factory after an airstrike by Saudi Arabia in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a. (Photo by AFP)

The total number of reported fatalities in Yemen has passed the 91,000 mark over the past four and a half years, says the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

The nonprofit conflict-research organization, which builds its database on news reports from Yemeni and international media and international agencies, recently said 11,900 people were killed this year, compared to 30,800 in 2018.

The group said that in 2015 about 17,100 people were reported killed, the second-most lethal year after 2018, which was the deadliest on record.

ACLED said the Saudis and allies were responsible for more than 8,000 of about 11,700 deaths resulting from the direct targeting of civilians. About 67 percent of all reported civilian fatalities in Yemen over the past four and a half years have been caused by Saudi-led airstrikes.

The group recorded over 18,400 killed in the southwestern province of Ta'izz since 2015.

According to the group, Hudaydah and Jawf followed Ta'izz as Yemen's two provinces experiencing most intense conflict, with almost 10,000 in total combat fatalities, reported in each region since 2015.

The UN-brokered ceasefire for the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah, ACLED said, contributed to a partial drop in reported fatalities in recent months.

The data covers everything from airstrikes, shelling and ground battles between the various forces to bombings and violence at protests. However, their numbers do not include those who have died in the humanitarian disasters caused by the war, particularly starvation.

Sam Jones, a spokesman for the ACLED, said their estimates for civilian fatalities exclude “collateral damage,” meaning the total civilian death toll for the war is likely significantly higher.

ACLED Executive Director Clionadh Raleigh said, “Since the escalation of the conflict in 2015, Yemen has been devastated by war. ACLED’s data from 2015 now allow for a full analysis of the violence, providing an estimate of the war’s true toll for the first time. These data are both a tool and a warning: the international community must use them to help understand, monitor, and ultimately resolve the conflict before the situation spirals even further out of control.”

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Ansarullah movement.

In the relentless campaign, Saudi-led airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties and killed thousands of Yemeni civilians.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

The kingdom’s heinous crimes were enjoying the support of the United States and the United Kingdom

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