October 11, The Iran Project – More than 140 people lost their lives and over 525 others sustained injuries on October 8 when Saudi military aircraft struck a hall in the Yemeni capital Sana’a where a funeral for the father of Interior Minister Jalal al-Roweishan was being held. The arial strike prompted global condemnations and on top of all, Iranian officials denounced the offensive.
The death toll was one of the largest in a single incident since March 2015, when the Riyadh regime began its deadly campaign to crush the Houthis and their allies and restore power to resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly been condemned for its indiscriminate targeting of the Yemeni population. In the war the Riyadh regime has launched on Yemen, at least 10,000 people have been killed, with many of them being civilians, according to the United Nations (UN).
Many scholars and politicians argue that the United States bears responsibility for the carnage because of providing deadly weaponry to the Saudi monarchy.
Iran FM Zarif pens a letter to UNSG
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, sent by Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned the Saudi airstrike as a horrible and catastrophic attack, expressing his “shock and disgust” over over the October 8 massacre.
“Not only Saudi Arabia, but also those who have supported the aggression by the Saudi-led coalition against Yemeni people should be held accountable for the war crimes perpetrated in Yemen over the past year and a half,” he said.
Iran’s foreign minister also called on Ban to facilitate a proposal by the Iranian Red Crescent Society to send humanitarian aid to the Yemeni capital Sana’a.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters on Monday, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN chief is reviewing Zarif’s message.
He said UN officials want humanitarian aid to cross into Yemen with no obstacles, “unfortunately, though, this is not possible at the moment.”
UN chief urges immediate investigation
Earlier, Ban called for a swift, independent probe into the airstrike, while stressing that “Those responsible for the attack must be brought to justice.”
Aerial attacks by the Saudi-led coalition have already caused immense carnage, and destroyed much of the country’s medical facilities and other vital civilian infrastructure,” Ban told reporters on Monday, adding, “More broadly, there must be accountability for the appalling conduct of this entire war.”
UN rights chief calls for an international probe into Saudi airstrike
Meanwhile, UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein in a statement released on Monday strongly denounced the Saturday airstrike, saying that the bombing of the funeral showed that violations continued unpunished.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zeid pointed out that countries belonging to the Human Rights Council had contributed to “a climate of impunity” in Yemen by failing to investigate adequately.
The council last month declined to set up an independent inquiry into abuses in Yemen.
Iran’s UN envoy asks the United Nations to help arrange for aid to Yemen victims
Gholam-Ali Khoshroo, Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN in a meeting with the world body’s Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien, asked UN to adopt expeditious mechanisms aimed at facilitating the shipment of Iranian humanitarian aid to war-torn Yemen.
Iran wants the United Nations to help pave the way for the dispatch of the Islamic Republic’s relief aid to Yemen and the transfer of the injured to Iranian hospitals for treatment, the Iranian diplomat emphasized.
Iran president raps Saudi air raid on Yemen
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also condemned the ongoing Saudi military aggression against Yemen, saying the Yemeni people are going through “utterly deplorable” times.
It is “really unbelievable” that Saudi Arabia continues to kill the Muslim people of Yemen, particularly women and children “without any reason,” he added.
Russia, Canada urge probe into Yemen carnage
Russia and Canada called for a thorough and unbiased investigation into the Saudi airstrike, urging punitive measures against all those responsible for the attack.
he Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Sunday and said:
“It must be thoroughly and impartially investigated; and its organizers and executors must be duly punished.”
“Canada urges all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, and to commit to political dialogue and to a lasting cessation of hostilities to halt the tragic loss of civilian life,” the Canadian foreign minister said.
Saudi attack on Yemen sparks social media outrage
The deadly attack was met with outrage on social media despite Riyadh’s denial and the international community’s complacency. Many known faces verbalized their anger over the massacre.
American journalist Abby Martin took to Twitter to show her disgust at Washington’s support for the Saudi regime that continues to systematically target Yemeni civilians.
Jill Stein, the Green Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election, blamed the US government for aiding the Saudi’s aggression on Yemen.
“Saudis bombed a funeral in Yemen, killing at least 82 people. Who supplies their weapons? US,” a tweet from her verified account read.
Meanwhile, social media users from all around the world joined the chorus in deploring the Saudi massacre and the forces that continue to allow such atrocities to take place.
The funny part of the story
It is interesting to know that Saudi Arabia is the head of a key panel in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
While the Saudi kingdom has long been under fire at the international level for its grim human rights record, the funniest point is re-appointing Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative, Faisal bin Hassan Trad to the UN as the head of the five-member Consultative Group, a significant UNHRC panel.
“It is scandalous that the UN chose a country that has beheaded more people this year than ISIS (Daesh) to be head of a key human rights panel. Petro-dollars and politics have trumped human rights” Hillel C. Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, said, adding, “This UN appointment is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief.”