Saudi coalition denies attack on Yemeni prison that left 60 dead

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RIYADH – The Saudi-led coalition on Sunday denied allegations made by the Yemeni Houthi-Ansarullah Movement that its airstrike hit a prison.

Earlier in the day, the coalition announced that it had hit a Houthi military facility in Dhamar, which housed drones and air defense systems.

The Ansarullah-controlled Al-Masirah station reported, however, that the coalition had reached a prison, killing 60 people and injuring 50 others. According to the Red Cross, the death toll is even higher, reaching at least 100 people killed, as disclosed by RT.

According to Colonel Turki Maliki, quoted by Al Arabiya news agency, the coalition airstrike hit a Houthi military base rather than the prison. According to the statement, the necessary precautions were taken, according to international law, to protect civilians during the attack.

Yemen has been involved in armed conflict for years between forces of the illegitimate government led by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi and the National Salvation Government.

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The Saudi-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Houthi movement at Hadi’s request since March 2015. The conflict has sparked a huge humanitarian crisis in the country, ranked as one of the worst in the world by the United Nations (UN).

Earlier this month, Iranian state television reported that the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared support for the Houthis in Yemen.

Khamanei stated that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their supporters intend to fracture Yemen. He said Yemen “must stand firm against the conspiracy.”

A Saudi-led coalition, which includes forces from the United Arab Emirates, has been fighting the Ansarullah movement in northern Yemen since 2015.

Yemen is one of the poorest Arab countries in the world and is still devastated by the conflict. The humanitarian crisis in the country raises concern of the United Nations (UN). The Yemeni conflict is also seen as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but there has been no solid evidence to prove Iran directly supports the Houthis.

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