An airstrike killed dozens of civilians Monday at a camp for displaced families in northern Yemen, raising concerns of a humanitarian crisis in the Middle East’s most impoverished country.The bombing appeared to be the single deadliest attack since a Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched a military campaign last week to halt the advance of Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen, known as Houthis, who control the capital, Sanaa.
As the 10-member coalition of Sunni Arab governments presses its campaign – driven by its perception of Iran’s growing influence in the region – aid workers warn that the civilian death toll is sure to rise. Shelling overnight in Aden, the southern port city besieged by Houthi insurgents, killed 26 people, according to news reports that cited hospital officials. Warships have been deployed at Aden, a key target for Houthis.
Joel Millman, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, told The Washington Post that as many as 40 people died and about 200 were wounded in Monday’s attack in northern Hajjah Province. The Houthis said the Saudi-led coalition had bombed the Al-Mazraq refugee camp; Saudi officials denied that any airstrikes had been carried out there. “People in Al-Mazraq camp have been living in very harsh conditions since 2009, and now they have suffered the consequences of an airstrike on the camp,” Pablo Marco, Doctors Without Borders’ operational manager for Yemen, said in a statement.