Tornado warplanes fly over the Saudi capital Riyadh during an air force exercise, January 2008. (Hassan Ammar/AFP via Getty Images)

Coalition Accused of Civilian Deaths in Yemen Airstrikes against Houthis

The Houthi movement in Yemen accused the Saudi-led Sunni Muslim coalition of carrying out airstrikes on Saturday that killed at least 30 people including civilians. The UN office in Yemen said preliminary field reports indicated that “as many as 31 civilians were killed and 12 others injured in strikes that hit Al-Hayjah area” in Al-Jawf province, and that many of the victims were transferred to hospitals in Al-Jawf and Sanaa for treatment. The Health Ministry in the province said women and children were among those killed, Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV reported. The airstrikes were apparently launched in retaliation for the downing of a Saudi Tornado warplane by the Iran-backed Houthis on Friday night. Saudi Arabia confirmed the loss of the Tornado on Saturday through its state-run Saudi Press Agency, though coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki said only that a Tornado jet had crashed in Al-Jawf. Maliki said both pilots ejected from the plane but that the Houthis opened fire on them.

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