GENEVA – The Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties strongly condemns the Houthi bombing that targeted a civilian gas station north of the Yemeni city of Marib, killing 14 civilians, including five children, and wounding dozens.
According to the local authorities, on Saturday, June 5, 2021, the armed forces of the Houthi group launched a ballistic missile towards a gas station in the Al-Rawdha neighborhood, north of the city of Marib. The attack occurred while dozens of cars were waiting in line for fuel.
The bombing caused an explosion in the area and a huge fire. Two ambulances rushed to rescue the victims but an explosive drone targeted them, resulting in the death of 14 civilians, including the five-year-old girl, Lian Taher whose body was charred, and the ten-year-old child, Hassan Al-Hubaishi, and dozens were injured. Media sources said the death toll from the attack rose to 21 after a number of the wounded died at the hospital.
Witnesses said that the station was full of cars and citizens, including women and children, when it was targeted without any warning with a ballistic missile that caused a massive fire. This attack highlights a pattern that has become prevalent during the armed conflict between the warring parties in Yemen, of the use of indiscriminate attacks without regard for the lives or property of civilians.
This incident confirms what the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen had previously concluded, that all parties to the conflict have continued to commit a range of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, noting that attacks are not confined to the conflict zone. Rather, they occur in populated areas.
The Geneva Council affirms that this horrific incident requires urgent action by the international community to open an investigation into the attack, find appropriate mechanisms to ensure the protection of civilians, and put pressure on all parties to stop the conflict that civilians have paid for years.
GCRL notes that about 3 million displaced people in Marib face repeated risks as a result of recurrent indiscriminate attacks by the conflicting parties.
The Council affirms that this fact constitutes a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which also obligates the provision of protection to civilians, stressing that it is time for immediate international intervention with the parties to the conflict in Yemen and the countries that support them to stop attacks and conduct a fair investigation into all the horrific crimes committed to holding perpetrators accountable, and on the other hand, provide redress for the victims and their families.