SANAA – Over 1,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the beginning of a Saudi-led military campaign against the Shia Houthi militant group in late March, a Yemeni ministry said Sunday.
“The Saudi aggression has left 1,114, including 154 children and 114 women, dead since it began on March 25,” the Health Ministry, which was taken over by the Houthis, said.
It added in a report that 3,637 people were also injured by Saudi-led airstrikes, noting that this toll included 389 children and 212 women.
The report, which was quoted by the official Yemeni news agency, added that scores of Yemeni medical facilities were also destroyed by the strikes.
Nevertheless, a local human rights group said that most of these casualties were caused by antiaircraft missiles launched by the Houthis themselves.
“Most of the casualties were caused by failed antiaircraft missiles fired by the Houthis themselves,” Yemeni activist, Radiya al-Motawakel, the head of local NGO Mowatena Centre for Human Rights, said on Facebook.
Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.
On March 25, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began an extensive military campaign targeting Houthi positions across Yemen.
Riyadh says its anti-Houthi campaign comes in response to appeals by embattled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi – currently in Riyadh – for military intervention against the Shia group.
The Houthis, for their part, denounce the offensive as unwarranted “Saudi-American aggression” against Yemen.