Whenever you’re running an air campaign there’s always the possibility of collateral damage. In simpler terms, we you’re dropping bombs on populated areas, you’re invariably going to kill some non-combatants.
Now ideally, you want to keep the number of dead civilians to a minimum, which is why The Intercept’s recent investigative report on America’s drone program was so disturbing – it turns out 90% of people killed aren’t the intended target.
And while that would be bad enough on its own, the US and its regional allies in the Mid-East have recently made a number of “mistakes” while attempting to strike Taliban and Houthi targets in Afghanistan and Yemen, respectively.
The most high profile screw up came earlier this month when US warplanes somehow mistook a hospital run by the medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors without Borders, in the Afghan city of Kunduz for a Taliban hangout.
Of course that’s not the only example of questionable targeting by “coalition” forces. In September, the Saudi-led coalition battling revolutionaries in Yemen struck a wedding party in in the Red Sea village of Al-Wahijah killing dozens upon dozens including “many” women and children. The groom was allegedly affiliated with the Houthis. About a week later, the Saudis bombed another wedding south of Sana’a killing dozens more Yemenis.
Finally, Western media reported last week that Russian warplanes are targeting hospitals in Idlib and Aleppo. Here’s what the Russian foreign ministry had to say about those reports (via Maria Zakharova):
“There are so-called mass media reports which allege that Russian aircraft bombed a field hospital in the Idlib Governorate in northwestern Syria and reportedly killed 13 people. I cannot say that these reports are written by journalists but their ingenuity delights. This information appears with reference to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights based in London. As we all understand, it is very ‘convenient’ to cover and observe what is happening in Syria without leaving London and without the ability to collect information in the field.”
On Tuesday we learn that yet another Doctors Without Borders facility has been bombed, this time in Saada, Yemen. As Reuters reports, Saudi warplanes apparently “destroyed the entire hospital with all that was inside.” Here’s more:
A Yemeni hospital run by medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) was hit by a Saudi-led air strike, the group said on Tuesday, the latest bombing of a civilian target in the seven-month air campaign in Yemen.
“MSF facility in Saada Yemen was hit by several air strikes last night with patients and staff inside the facility,” the group said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Yemen’s state news agency Saba quoted the Heedan hospital director saying that several people were injured in the attack.
“The air raids resulted in the destruction of the entire hospital with all that was inside – devices and medical supplies – and the moderate wounding of several people,” Doctor Ali Mughli said.
Saba said other air strikes hit a nearby girls school and damaged several civilian homes.
And so, once more we see the head of the UN Human Rights Council displaying little regard for human life as Riyadh, Doha, and the UAE continue relentless airstrikes in the proxy war against their bitter regional rival Iran.
It’s worth noting here that reports of “collateral damage” are par for the proverbial course in Yemen. Since Saudi airstrikes began in March, more than 2,300 civilians have been killed according to the UN. UNICEF estimates some 500 of those were children. Of course the Houthis and Riyadh routinely tell completely different stories when it comes to who’s responsible for civilian casualties, but at the end of the day, innocent people are dying as a result of what’s become a multi-front sectarian-fueled, regional power struggle.
(Source / 28.10.2015)