“Body parts were scattered all over the area, and the sounds of moaning and crying were everywhere,” said Hassan Muwlef, executive director of the Red Crescent office in Saada, who arrived an hour after the attack on Thursday morning. “The school bus was totally burned and destroyed.”
Bodies were burned beyond recognition while many of the injured were riddled with shrapnel, he added.
Fatik Al-Rodaini of the charity Mona Relief posted photos from the site of the attack:
Pictures here proofs showing you the remains of the school bus which was hit today by Saudi airstrikes in Dhahian area of Saada in northern #Yemen. Pictures also showing UNICEF school bags with the children.
Saudi regime kills children in #Yemen#YemenCantWait pic.twitter.com/UrEKEvyRYO
— Fatik Al-Rodaini (@Fatikr) August 9, 2018
The Saudi coalition stated that they consider the attack on the market and school bus to be a “legitimate military action,” but nothing can justify attacking a crowded marketplace and a school bus. The coalition has skipped its usual denials of responsibility and gone straight to rationalizing the massacre of schoolchildren. The coalition’s irrelevant excuse is that they were supposedly targeting missile launchers involved in attacks on Saudi territory, but that appears to be false:
But others disputed that the area of Thursday’s attack posed a military threat.
“I am really shocked because there is no military base or troops in that area,” said Muwlef. “Why would they carry out such an action?”
It has been obvious from the start of the Saudi-led intervention that the coalition ignores and flouts international law in Yemen, and this is just one of the more egregious examples of how they wantonly commit war crimes while pretending that they have done nothing wrong. The U.S. has aided and abetted them in these crimes for more than three years.
The New York Times also reported on the attack. The children were going on a summer trip:
The attack, in a busy market area, hit a bus carrying students on a recreational trip with a Quran memorization program. It killed at least 43 people and wounded 63, according to Muhammad Hajar, an official in charge of emergency services for the Health Ministry. He said the final toll could be higher because rescue operations were ongoing.
The war already takes a devastating toll on Yemen’s children. A Yemeni child dies every ten minutes from preventable causes of starvation and disease. These Yemeni children were murdered and maimed in a senseless attack. How many more Yemeni schoolchildren will the Saudi coalition have to blow up before Congress acts to put a stop to U.S. support for these atrocities?