The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has strongly condemned an attack on a refugee camp in Al-Mazraq area in the Yemeni governorate of Hajjah.
The attack left between 15 and 20 civilian deaths and 15 injured people in Haradh hospital, and “more casualties are expected”, according to the UNHRC statement.
The Mazraq area hosts a large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), the statement detailed.
Deif Al-Shamy, a senior media leader with the Houthi rebel group blamed the attack on Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen Monday.
Al-Shamy said the camp is a vast area, away from residents and buildings, and which contains an estimated 100,000 refugees. He added however that there have been hundreds of deaths.
Saudi Arabia, backed by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, announced last Wednesday that it will begin airstrikes targeting Houthi rebels in Yemen. Egypt announced Thursday that it will provide“political and military”support to Saudi Arabia against the Houthis following the airstrikes, and added that “if necessary” ground troops will be provided.
The strikes have been going on for five days since the announcement.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International expressed concerns about the growing civilian casualties in Yemen
In its statement, Amnesty International noted that at least 25 civilians were killed, including at least six children.
The 26th Arab League summit concluded Sunday with the decision to continue airstrikes on Yemen upon the request of Yemini President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. He requested this occur until the Houthis “back off, hand in their weapons and return legitimacy”.
The decision came among others that include the formation of an Arab military force supervised by a high-level team of Chiefs-of-Staff from the region’s armed forces.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi noted during his speech on Saturday during the Arab League summit that the intervention was in “inevitable” in Yemen.
Houthi rebels took control of the Yemini Capital Sana’a in September 2014 forcing Hadi to temporarily flee the capital. Hadi noted during the Arab League summit that he has been targeted on several occasions by Houthi rebels.