Are civilian casualties happening in Houthi side or government side of Yemen? It does matter for the UN, western media

Are civilian casualties happening in Houthi side or government side of Yemen? It does matter for the UN, western media

 

2020-02-20

By Sarah Hassan

Yemen's Houthi rebels said last Sunday that 30 "civilians"  had been killed around the wreckage of a Saudi warplane they downed in Aljawf in northern Yemen. Houthi sources alleged the 30 persons were curious civilians in the crash site within their areas of control at midnight time. Opponents to Houthis said the killed are military officers from the (Shia( extremist group.

"So many people are being killed in Yemen - it's a tragedy and it's unjustified," the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Lise Grande, said in a prompt statement that resounded on all media platforms.

Searching the word "Yemen" in google news after the incident you could read the following headlines: Saudi-led coalition airstrikes kill more than 30 Yemeni civilians, says U.N. (Washington Post); Yemen airstrikes kill 31 civilians after Saudi jet crash (the Guardian); Dozens of Yemeni civilians killed in air strikes after Saudi jet crash (France 24); “They Have Not Relented”: U.S. Maintains Support for Yemen War as Saudi Airstrike Kills 31 Civilians (Democracy Now).

In that same Sunday, a family of four including a mother and her one-week-old baby were killed by a Houthi landmine in the government-held Alkhowkha town west of Yemen.

The following Wednesday a Houthi sniper shot dead Heleen Mohammed, a 12-year-old  girl, near her house in the central Yemen city under six-year Houthi siege.

No statement was made by Grande on those crimes in the government-held parts. Nor did any western news website report the stories.

In fact this bias has been the case since the beginning of the war between the government and theocratic extremists in March 2015. Not only the current but also the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator showed vocal outrage when civilian causalities occurred in the Houthi side of the frontline and stayed tightlipped whatever horrific atrocities occurred (committed by Houthis) to civilians on the government-held side.    

Likewise, western media's writing on the six-year siege of pro-government Taiz and other Houthi abuses of civilians there are as rare as ever.

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