“We were all scared but Shorooq and our child were the main victims of the attack. After three hours of suffering, she lost the baby,” Zaid al-Khameri told reporters. This was following a bombing near his house, which shattered the windows and caused Zaid’s pregnant wife to have a miscarriage. The number of stillbirths and miscarriages has increased in many of Yemen’s provinces due to the trauma caused by the airstrikes. Hospitals are also unable to deliver care for premature infants due to a shortage of electricity and oxygen cylinders. The overall civilian death toll climbs weekly as Saudi-led airstrikes continue despite widespread criticism and condemnation by the United Nations and numerous NGOs.
Zaid and Sharooq’s case is not an isolated incident in the war-torn nation where civilians make up over half of all war causalities-a large proportion of which are children. Earlier last week, 24 children died in a Saudi-led airstrike that killed 106 people in an Al Khamees market. A UN investigation found no evidence supporting a ‘military goal’ in the strike. Saudi-led airstrikes are not only directly killing children; the subsequent trauma of the war is having a great psychological impact on pregnant woman and their unborn children. The sieges in various provinces, and the ongoing blockade, are preventing hospitals from receiving the medical equipment needed to provide health services to a population in need. Even with the UN verifying violations of human rights, there remains no concrete resolution protecting the lives of Yemeni citizens-the largest victims of the war.
William Jay is an Advocacy Intern at ADHRB