Doctors Without Borders releases reports on two airstrikes that killed 20
The attacks caused the humanitarian organization to pull out of Yemen
Doctors Without Borders said there was no legitimate reason for attacks on two medical facilities it supported in Yemen that killed 20 people and caused the group to pull out of the country.
On Monday the humanitarian group – also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – released the results of investigations into airstrikes on a hospital in Abs in August and on a clinic in Taiz last December.
MSF said its investigation showed that “the neutrality and impartiality of the facilities had not been compromised before the attacks and therefore there was no legitimate reason to attack them.”
It also said: “The details of the incidents documented in these two reports are unambiguous indicators of how war is being waged in Yemen, where there is an utter disregard for civilian life by all warring parties.”
In both attacks “the bombings hit fully functioning health facilities and the protected nature of the medical mission was not respected,” it added.
The Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which has been conducting a military operation in Yemen for over a year to reinstate the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, said at the time that it would investigate the incidents.
MSF said most of the people killed in the two attacks were patients. The Abs airstrike killed 19, including one MSF staff member, and injured 24.
At the time of the strike there were 23 patients in surgery, 25 in the maternity ward, 12 in paediatrics and 13 newborns at the hospital, according to MSF.
The attack in Taiz injured eight people and killed one.
Following the August attack, MSF decided to pull out of the four remaining hospitals it supported in northern Yemen – accusing both Saudi-led coalition forces and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels of carrying out “indiscriminate attacks” and complaining of “unreliable assurances” from the Saudi government.
It said in a statement Monday: “MSF is engaged with the military leadership of the Saudi-led coalition and have raised our serious concerns about the attacks.”
It called for all warring parties “to uphold the principles of humanitarian law which protect civilians as well as medical facilities, patients and staff, and thus reduce the massive human cost that has characterized this conflict.”
The aid organization released the reports ahead of a United Nations Security Council closed session on protection of medical missions.
It came less than a week after at least 30 civilians were killed when Saudi-led airstrikes hit a neighborhood in Yemen’s central port city of Hodeida on Wednesday, September 21.