SAM Calls for an end to the Indiscriminate Attacks against Al-Zouab Village in Al-Baidha Governorate SAM
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Documented Gross violations against Civilians
SAM Calls for an end to the Indiscriminate Attacks against Al-Zouab Village in Al-Baidha Governorate

  
  
  
    
15/09/2020

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said today, Tuesday, September 15, 2020, that the Houthis group is committing war crimes against civilians in the Al-Zouab area of ​​Al-Baidha governorate, and attacking it by heavy weapons, including rockets, Katyusha, tanks and artillery indiscriminately on civilian homes in the village. Killing and wounded many civilians, including children and women, and forcing others to leave their homes.

The organization confirmed that it has documented hundreds of gross violations committed by Houthis group and its allied forces against civilians in the village of Al-Zouab, in Qaifah district during the past years, varied between killings, arbitrary detention, abductions, bombing and targeting homes, burning and destroying drinking water wells, health and educational facilities, a fuel station, targeting places of worship, and damaging and looting private and public objects, displacement of hundreds of families and complete disruption of life.

The organization said that it documented the killing of more than (40) civilians, including women and children, and the wounding of at least (60), including women and children, some of whom are still suffering from injury due to the lack of health care, and the detention of more than (150) civilians, including (48) African migrant workers working on Qat farms, in the village.

Houthis group also, blew up (8) houses completely (2) of them during its recent military campaign, and burned (22) houses, while the shells that it fired caused partial destruction of (200) houses and caused damages on other houses. The attacks also targeted (3) educational facilities, one of which was completely destroyed, depriving more than (600) students of their right to education.

The continued bombardment has exacerbated the humanitarian situation in the village and pushed more than 450 families during the previous wars to move to neighboring villages, including of Al-Ajmah, Al-Nazim and Baqarat villages, while others fled to the city of Rada’a to escape the siege and bombardment. The organization documented abortion of two pregnant women due to the targeting of their homes with Katyusha rockets, artillery shells and tanks, and the death of a fetus at a checkpoint, after the militants prevented a civilian from taking his pregnant wife to hospital, who was about to deliver, several days ago.

Tawfiq Al-Humeidi, head of SAM Organization, said: “The Houthis group intends to destroy all basic services necessary for survival, in retaliation and punishment against civilians, as the organization documented the destruction of (7) drinking water wells, burning of a fuel station and an oil tanker, and (11) houses were completely looted and (3) shops and (6) cars were damaged, (37) cars and tankers were looted, the occupation and looting of a private hospital, targeting of communication networks, power grids, and drinking water tanks on the roofs of houses, and the destruction and looting of Qat farms and the disruption of work in them, some of which are still damaged and incurred losses estimated at hundreds of millions, all belong to the villagers in Al-Zouab.

 

Examples of violations

Merchant Ali Obad Al-Zouba, a member of the tribe told SAM, about the crimes and violations they were subjected to, and forced them to leave the village after they were stripped of all their property in previous wars, and says that the Houthis and former president militia blew up five houses belonging to him and his brothers; Ali Obad Abdullah Al-Zouba, two houses of Ahmed Obad Abdullah Al-Zouba, the house of Muhammed Obad Abdullah Al-Zouba, and the house of Muqbel Obad Abdullah Al-Zouba, in December of 2015 after they looted them with the complicity and cooperation of sheikhs, elders and party personalities from Qaifah - Radaa "whom he identified" They also burned his fuel station in the area and burned two oil tankers and two drinking water wells. They also destroyed their Qat farms valued at hundreds of millions, and looted a 2011 model Landcruiser car, and occupied the only hospital in Qaifah belonging to him, and looted all medical equipment, estimated at more than 30 million Yemeni riyals at that time, and they looted all the medicines in the hospital pharmacy, estimated at more than 10 million Yemeni riyals.

 

Painful scenes

One of the witnesses says to SAM: “On March 9, 2016, during the third war, Dahan Muhammad Al-Daour Al-Zouba, 11, was shot by a militia sniper while he was playing in front of their house in the village. We could not take him to hospital because of sniping and Houthis siege of the village and the lack of even first aid, and he continued to bleed for hours until he died in his mother's arms, and eyewitnesses added that the mother was embracing her injured child, crying and screaming while the child comforted his mother, saying: (Do not cry, I am a martyr, mom )".

On March 10, 2016, Obad Muhammad Ali Al-Zouba, 75, was killed in front of his house, on the outskirts of the village, after he refused to allow the Houthis militia and the forces of the ousted President Saleh to station inside his house to fight the tribe, and when the militia tried to forcefully storm his house, he confronted them despite his old age, the militia bombed the house with a tank and shot him with automatic weapons until he was killed in front of his house while his family was watching helplessly.

During the last war, at the beginning of September of 2020, Ali Saleh Al-Qafili, 50, was wounded by a sniper bullet that penetrated his window and hit him in the back, and the militias did not allow anyone to take him to the hospital, and he continued to bleed in front of his wife and daughters from the afternoon prayer until he passed away at the time of sunset.

In 2018, Muhammad Naji al-Hubaishi, wife, who moved with his family from Ibb governorate to work on the Qat farms, was hit by a sniper bullet near her house, adjacent to the farm, and when her husband rushed to help her, a Houthi sniper shot and killed him instantly, and his body remained dumped next to his wounded wife, who was bleeding next to him, while their children cried around them for more than three hours without anyone being able to reach them to help them until tribal mediation intervened and removed them, but the wife was paralyzed due to the injury.

The organization said that Houthis fighters are responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law in the village of Al-Zouab, by launching indiscriminate attacks that have killed or injured civilians, destroyed dozens of homes and forced hundreds of families to flee, actions that may lead to individual criminal responsibility for war crimes.

The statement emphasized that indiscriminate attacks are those that do not differentiate between military objectives, and civilians or civilian objects, and that constant caution has not been taken to spare the civilian and civilian objects, which has led to the death or injury of civilians, in addition to the fact that these projectiles  are expected to cause casualties or excessive civilian casualties or collateral damage.

SAM called on all the warring parties in Yemen and the international community to implement international and humanitarian agreements and treaties for the protection of civilians in times of war, especially children and women, and to assume humanitarian and legal responsibility towards civilians, and to work seriously to stop the war and target of civilians.