A hospital run by Doctors Without Borders has reportedly been struck by a Saudi-led airstrike, representatives of the organization said Tuesday. The strike comes weeks after a hospital belonging to the organization, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, was targeted by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Doctors Without Borders’ press office confirmed on Twitter that its patients and staff were still inside the facility when it was hit. A Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March to try and restore the government after it was toppled by Houthi forces believed to be loyal to Iran. The U.S. is supporting the airstrike campaign with intelligence.
— MSF Press Office (@MSF_SApress) October 27, 2015
A news agency run by Houthis quoted a director of the hospital saying that several people were injured and that another airstrike hit a nearby girls school and damaged several civilian homes, Huffington Post reported. The report could not be verified by International Business Times.
Human rights groups have repeatedly expressed concern over a mounting humanitarian crisis caused by the airstrike campaign. More than 5,600 people have died in the conflict, and international mediation attempts have mostly failed to stem the violence.
— MSF UK Press Office (@MSF_Press) October 27, 2015
Doctors Without Borders is an international medical relief organization that supports healthcare around the world. Its hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz was struck by several airstrikes Oct. 3, resulting in about 30 deaths. The attack prompted international outcry and calls for an independent investigation. U.S. President Barack Obama apologized for the attack, as Doctors Without Borders continued to demand an independent investigation.
"International humanitarian law is not about 'mistakes'. It is about intention, facts and why ... It is precisely because attacking hospitals in war zones is prohibited that we expected to be protected," the organization's director Joanne Liu said, according to Reuters.
There are some 790 staff working with Doctors Without Borders in Yemen, including some 64 international staff. Hospitals in conflict zones in the Middle East have been susceptible to airstrikes. Since Russia launched a military campaign in Syria late last month, at least seven hospitals in the country have been targeted.