The Houthis, who control most of northern and western Yemen, have alleged that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces carried out airstrikes on Sa’dah city’s Talmous water station late on Tuesday, January 11, causing significant damage to the tanks that provide water to over 135,000 civilians in the city.
Claiming that the water facility was purely a civilian project, the Houthi government demanded war crime proceedings against the Saudi-led coalition and asked international organizations to fulfill their responsibility to Sa’dah residents, the Yemeni news agency Saba reported.
According to Saba, the Saudi-led coalition altogether carried out six airstrikes in Sa’dah province, causing damages to civilian infrastructure like telecommunication towers. The coalition forces also launched several airstrikes in Marib and Hodeidah provinces.
According to deputy minister for water and environment in the Houthi administration, Hanin al-Darib, the attack on civilian water tanks has endangered the supply of water to the residents of Sa’dah who are already suffering due to severe shortage of fuel.
Located in the country’s north near its borders with Saudi Arabia, Sa’dah is the capital of the governorate named after it. Prior to the war, it had a relatively small population. However, its population has increased in recent years due to internal displacement caused by the war.
The Saudi-led coalition has been waging a war in Yemen since 2015 to reinstate its former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Hadi fled Yemen following the Houthis’ (Ansar Allah) takeover of capital Sa’na in 2014 and now lives in Riyadh. The Houthis have accused Hadi of being a corrupt administrator who collaborated with imperialist forces against his own people.
The Saudi-led coalition has imposed a strict land, air and sea blockade of Yemen, depriving the majority of its population of basic necessities such as food and medicine. Due to the war and the blockade, at least 400,000 Yemenis have died and millions displaced and pushed towards death due to starvation and lack of essential medicines.
The UN estimates that at least USD 3.9 billion is required to provide basic aid to Yemen’s 16 million people. According to the UN, in the last month alone, at least 350 Yemenis were killed and more than 15,000 people were displaced.