Thirty to 40 people were killed in Yemen Saturday after an Arab coalition conducted airstrikes on a market northeast of Sanaa, media reports said. The coalition, which is Saudi-led, aimed its airstrikes at Iranian-allied Houthi forces.
Reuters reported as many as 40 people were killed while the Associated Press said at least 30 were killed. Most of the casualties were civilians, adding to the nearly 6,000 people who have been killed in the fighting that has raged through the country.
The Houthis are loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the Saudi-led coalition is fighting them to restore the recognized government of current President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Fighting began when the Houthis made inroads into Aden, a southern city where Hadi had been located.
The Saudi-led coalition has been trying to advance on the region where Saturday’s airstrikes occurred, the Daily Mail reported. The coalition has been asked by various rights groups across the globe to avoid the killing of civilians.
The coalition began operations in March 2015 to fight the Shiite Houthis, who have controlled Sanna since 2014. The Houthis had placed Hadi under house arrest, but he eventually escaped, moving to the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, before going back to Aden after the rebels had been driven out.
— Yemen Post Newspaper (@YemenPostNews) January 25, 2016
However, Hadi has had to spend much of his time in Saudi Arabia because of security concerns at home. The fighting has led to more than 3,000 people wounded, and 2.5 million people displaced in the country. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in January he was concerned over the increased number of airstrikes in Yemen conducted by the Saudi-led coalition.