Saudi-led coalition violated humanitarian law with double air strike in Yemen


European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini late Wednesday said the truce should be a first step towards resuming UN-led peace talks.

Kerry said a rocket attack from Houthi territory killed two Saudi civilians, though it was not immediately clear where the deaths occurred.

The coalition has been fighting Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Saleh in Yemen since March 2015 to try to restore to power the internationally backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has fled into exile.

"The panel thus finds, in respect of the second air strike, that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition violated its obligations" not to attack those unable to fight, the wounded and medical personnel, "and did not take effective precautionary measures to minimize harm to civilians, including the first responders", the report said.

The air strikes late Thursday targeted positions of the Iran-backed Huthi insurgents at Jebel al-Nabishuaib, on the southwestern outskirts of rebel-held Sanaa, according to witnesses.

Coalition aircraft had bombed Sanaa every night since August 7, residents said, starting after peace talks with the Houthis and forces loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh broke down.

Several previous ceasefires have failed to pave the way for an end to the conflict, but have significantly slowed fighting in the war which has killed at least 10,000 people. "They have a relationship with the Houthis, so I do suspect there is a role in that", Votel said at a Center for American Progress event.

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Both sides declared respect for the ceasefire but reserved the right to respond to infractions.

"They're mocking us with a 3-day truce", said Ali al-Doush, a 32-year-old civil servant who has not been paid for 3 months.

Assiri said coalition artillery and aircraft retaliated. "We want an end to the war".

The UN had hoped that the truce might be extended and lead to renewed peace talks. "But if we can have those areas open at all times and we can plan differently and we can supply better", said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, speaking to UN Radio by phone from the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.

On Thursday a panel of United Nations experts concluded the strike was in violation of worldwide humanitarian law, accusing the coalition of failing to take "effective and adequate precautionary measures to minimize civilian casualties".

Suspected Al-Qaeda militants on Thursday killed 4 soldiers at a checkpoint in the southern province of Abyan, a security official said.