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Incident on 24 July 2015 [+] Download as CSV Print this page

Location: Steam Power Plant residential compound, Al Mukha District, Ta'izz Governorate [+]

Country: Yemen [+]

Violation types: Violation of International Law [+]

Location


This incident took place in Steam Power Plant residential compound, Al Mukha District, Ta'izz Governorate, Yemen [+]

Description


According to Amnesty International: "VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIOAL LAW: HUNDREDS OF CIVILIANS KILLED IN COALITION AIRSTRIKES [...] Since 25 March 2015, thousands of airstrikes by Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians all over Yemen. The eight strikes investigated by Amnesty International for this briefing killed at least 141 civilians and injured 101, most of them children and women, in southern region of Yemen. While the scope of this briefing is limited to the specific geographic area of southern Yemen, Amnesty International has investigated civilian casualties resulting from unlawful coalition airstrikes in other parts of the country, notably in and around the capital, Sana’a, and the northern city of Sa’da, the most frequent target of such strikes. Coalition strikes which killed and injured civilians and destroyed civilian property and infrastructure investigated by Amnesty International have been found to be frequently disproportionate or indiscriminate. In some instances Amnesty International found that strikes appeared to have apparently directly targeted civilians or civilian objects. International humanitarian law prohibits deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects, and attacks which do not discriminate between civilians/civilian objects and combatants/military objectives, or which cause disproportionate harm to civilians/civilian objects in relation to the anticipated military advantage which may be gained by such attack. Such attacks constitute war crimes. The pattern of attacks, which since the beginning of the coalition air bombardment campaign on 25 March 2015 have continued to cause civilian casualties, and the lack of investigations to date into such incidents raise serious concerns about an apparent disregard for civilian life and for fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, not only by those planning and executing the strikes but also by the exiled Yemeni government, at whose behest Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces are acting. [...] Coalition forces bombed a residential compound housing workers of the Steam Power Plant and their families in the south-western port city of Mokha on 24 July at approximately 10pm, killing at least 63 civilians and injuring 50 others. Amnesty International visited the site three days after the airstrike and interviewed 21 residents and plant workers at the site and in five hospitals in Mokha and Hodeida (on the north-western coast). One resident, Amal Sabri, described the incident as “something out of judgement day. Corpses and heads scattered, engulfed by fire and ashes”. According to residents and plant workers, at least six consecutive strikes pounded the housing compound, several targeting the compound cafeteria and maintenance equipment store. Eyewitnesses said that prior to the multiple strikes on the main residential compound an airstrike had targeted a small residential compound 700m to the north of the steam power plant also used to house plant workers. Amnesty International delegates at the site found no evidence that the residential compounds were being used for any military purposes. According to scores of residents interviewed by Amnesty International, no Huthi fighters were present in the compound, which also housed several families displaced by the conflicts in Ta’iz, Aden and surrounding areas. The nearest military objective, an air force base, is located approximately 800m south east of the residential compounds. It is unclear whether it was also targeted. 55-year-old Qaed Mohamed Abdelqader al-Sabri, a technician at the plant who lost most of his family in the airstrike, told Amnesty International that they were celebrating the birth of his 10-day-old granddaughter when their home was bombed: “We were all at home celebrating the birth of my granddaughter Alaa’, with neighbours and family. I was about to enter the house when suddenly the door came off as the whole house shook. It was like an earthquake. The first bomb hit the maintenance equipment store, the second bomb hit the cafeteria. There was a moment of silence, which I took advantage of to rescue my family. That is when the third bomb landed. The electricity had gone off, I tried to go inside the house to look for a torch and for my family. I was screaming for my daughters, I could hear others screaming in search of their families. But all I saw was my wife and daughters drowning in their blood. Only my daughters Lina (16) and Samar (26) survived as they had run away to the coast when the strikes happened. Three of my daughters, my wife, my daughter’s husband and my granddaughter Alaa’ were killed.” Another resident, 24-year-old Alaa Abdeljaber Thabet, recounted the ordeal to Amnesty International: “The residence streets were bustling, men and children were standing in front of the cafeteria playing billiards. Suddenly I saw a light in the sky, and then an explosion in the residential camp [700m north of the main residential camp] that shook our whole compound. Fear and alarm permeated the whole city… suddenly after two minutes, the first bomb hit our residency targeting the maintenance equipment store. I could hear the plane circling above. I fell down due to the pressure of the explosion. After two minutes I got up to go help move the women and children to the coast where it was safer. After four minutes, the second bomb fell on the cafeteria, around 20 meters away from the first strike on the store. That second strike killed the most… I walked amongst pools of blood and severed limbs, there were over 20 bodies. There were four more explosions after that, people trying to escape. I have still not come to terms with what happened that day until now. I can still see the bodies and the injured and I can hear the screaming all the time.” Among those displaced by the conflict who were sheltering at the plant housing complex was Redha Mohamed Qaed, a father of six. His relative Abdu Naji al-Bu’dani, an engineer at the plant and a local resident told Amnesty International: “Redha has come here with his family from Aden, to escape the fighting there. He had planned to go back to Aden the next day (as the Huthis had just been forced out of Aden). When the explosion happened he was sitting next to a window at his sister’s house. He hugged his wife and children to protect them and his back was ripped by shrapnel and he passed away on the spot.” [+]

Perpetrator units

Name Other Names Classification
Operation Restoring Hope [+] Arab Coalition
Arab Coalition Forces
Arab Coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen
coalition forces
Gulf Arab coalition
Hope Restoration Operation
Joint Forces
Operation Renewal of Hope
operations Renewal of Hope
Operation Storm of Resolve
Saudi-led Arab Coalition
Saudi-led Coalition
Air Force [+]
Army [+]
Joint Operation [+]
Military [+]
Navy [+]

Sources

List of all sources used to evidence the data in this record Click the "+" symbol next to every data point in the record to see the sources used for that data point.

Publication Date Publisher Title Access Date Archive Link
18 August 2015 Amnesty International Nowhere safe for civilians': Airstrikes and ground attacks in Yemen (Index MDE 31/2291/2015) 19 January 2021