Houthi government strongly condemns US raid on Yemen

Sanaa, Jan 30 (IANS) Yemen’s dominant Houthi-run government has strongly condemned a US raid in Baida that killed more than 30 people, mostly children and women, a government controlled news agency reported.

“The National Salvation Government strongly condemns the big crime committed by the US marines on the residents of Qaifa town,” a government spokesman said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

“This crime is a form of state terrorism practised by the US under the pretext of fighting terrorism,” Saba news agency quoted the spokesperson on condition of anonymity.

At least nine women and six children, including the eight-year-old daughter of former Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaqi, were killed in the Sunday early morning raid on the village of Yakla in Qaifa area.

About 10 Al Qaeda militants were also killed in the raid, according to local sources.

The US has increased its military operations in Yemen since the civil war erupted in late 2014 after the Houthi militias, supported by Yemeni former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, seized power.

The National Organization for Drone Victims, the first of its kind in Yemen, said that in every US drone strike or anti-terror operation, there are civilian casualties.

The organisation documented 27 drone strikes in Yemen in 2016, which killed about 142 people, including many civilians.

The drone strikes in 2016 were carried out in Marib, Shabwa, Abyan, Hadramout and Baida provinces, the organisation said.