Human Rights Watch has accused the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen of war crimes on Tuesday.
The rights group said that these air strikes which killed 39 civilians including 26 children in two months were carried out either deliberately or recklessly, causing indiscriminate loss of civilian lives in violation of the laws of war.
However, the coalition has repeatedly denied allegations of war crimes and says that these attacks are directed against its enemies and not civilians.
Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war and its internationally-recognized government, backed by a coalition supported by the United States and Britain, is trying to roll back the Iran-aligned Houthi group which controls most of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.
“The Saudi-led coalition’s repeated promises to conduct its air strikes lawfully are not sparing Yemeni children from unlawful attacks,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement.
“This underscores the need for the United Nations to immediately return the coalition to its annual “list of shame” for violations against children in armed conflict,” she said.
According to the UN, from March 2015 to March 2017, 16,200 people have been killed in Yemen, including 10,000 civilians.
The Saudi intervention, which has included widespread bombing of civilian areas, has been sharply condemned by the international community
HRW called on United Nations Security Council to launch an international investigation into the abuses at its September session.
On Monday, the U.N. said it has verified 5,144 civilian deaths in the war in Yemen, mainly from air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition, and an international investigation is urgently required.
HRW has also criticized the Houthis for “unlawfully deploying forces in densely populated areas and using excessive force against peaceful protesters and journalists.
Houthi and allied forces have committed violations by laying banned antipersonnel landmines, mistreating detainees, and launching indiscriminate rockets into populated areas in Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia, killing hundreds of civilians.
By: Sidharth Shekhar