Yemeni minister accuses the Houthis of committing war crimes against civilians
TheNationalUAE -

Forty-seven Houthi fighters were killed and dozens injured during fierce confrontations with the Southern Joint Forces in Qatabah city, Al Dhalea province in southern Yemen on Wednesday.

“A raging battle flared up earlier on Wednesday when the Houthi rebels launched a wide-scale attack attempting to take control over sites controlled by our forces in the centre of Qatabah city," a commander with the forces told The National.

“We launched a counter-attack from three directions, which enabled us to tighten the noose around the Houthi fighters who broke into some buildings, forcing dozens of them to surrender, while dozens of them were killed in the confrontations.

Fuad Gubari, a journalist in Hajer, said coalition forces scored a crucial gain earlier on Thursday by recapturing key sites and liberating villages through a siege in Al Abara

Meanwhile, the Yemeni Minister of Human Rights, Mohammed Askar, accused the Houthi militia of committing war crimes against hundreds of civilians in the southern Yemen province.

Mr Askar said on Wednesday that 27 civilians were killed and 73 wounded by Houthi shelling deliberately aimed populated areas northern Al Dhalea.

He said that 9,361 families were displaced and 541 homes destroyed since March.

“The Houthi rebels have been imposing an indiscriminate siege against thousands of civilians in Qatabah, Hajer area, Mureis and Al Azarik district western Al Dhalea,” Mr Askar said.

“The rebels have been preventing the relief convoys from reaching the besieged civilians in these areas and refusing to secure safe corridors for them to flee the conflict zones.

“In addition to the deliberate shelling, the Houthis looted many residences in Mureis and Qatabah, said Mohammed Al Waqidi, the Human Rights Watch office manager in Al Dhalea.

"They stormed the residences of the civilians who could flee the conflict areas and used them as fortifications and weapon depots.”

Mr Al Waqidi said that the rebels repeatedly pounded populated areas with ballistic missiles and Katyusha rockets, causing casualties and huge devastation.

This week, the Houthis pounded the village of Al Wabeh in northern Al Dhalea with Katyusha rockets.

Updated: May 17, 2019 12:29 AM

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