SMA NEWS – Marib
Fifty-six rights civil society groups in Yemen condemned on Monday the international community’s silence over the crimes committed by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in the Marib province.
The latest of these crimes was the militias’ targeting of refugee camps and residential neighborhoods in Marib.
In a joint statement, the rights groups slammed the crimes against humanity committed by the militias and their ongoing attacks against civilians with heavy weapons, including ballistic missiles and Katyusha rockets.
The attacks have left casualties among the population, including women and children.
The groups cited the Houthi ballistic missile attack on Saturday of the Rawda neighborhood in Marib that left one child dead and wounded five others.
The attacks are flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, charged the groups, urging the United Nations, its Security Council and special envoy to Yemen, and rights organizations to condemn the crimes and put a halt to the Houthi actions.
The militias have kept up their offensive in Marib, while the legitimate government, backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition, has deterred their attacks and made advances on several fronts.
The latest Houthi attack against residents in Marib took place in wake of a wave of incitement against the locals. The militias allege that the residents are “takfiris” and members of the al-Qaeda and ISIS extremist groups.
The incitement is aimed at dismissing the waves of refugees who have fled Marib due to the offensive. The militants have claimed that the refugees are harboring takfiris, a charge they often use to justify their attacks against opponents.
In this vein, the Houthis circulated an internal memo to the local media to encourage them to portray the refugees as terrorists and to accuse the legitimate government forces of using them as human shields. The media has also been urged to portray refugee camps as military training camps.
The camps are home to more than 60 percent of refugees in Yemen.
The government has slammed the Houthis’ misinformation campaign, saying it reflects their deliberate intention to escalate their crimes against the refugees.