A Saudi-led coalition airstrike earlier this week killed three displaced families in Yemen’s southwest Taiz governorate, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday, July 21.
The airstrike, which occurred around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, destroyed the families’ straw house in Al Asheerah village, near the Houthi-controlled town of Mawza.
OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville said the three families had been recorded by the agency as displaced. Airstrikes earlier this year drove them from their homes, he added.
“At least 18 civilians in all, including ten children and two women, are believed to have died in the incident,” Colville said, according to OHCHR press briefing notes released on Friday.
Colville noted there appeared to be no “military objectives anywhere” in the vicinity of the house.
OHCHR has verified 13,609 civilian casualties, including 5,021 deaths, since the Saudi-led coalition air operation in Yemen began in March 2015. The agency estimates the number of civilian deaths is much higher, with some estimates suggesting more than 11,000 people have been killed.
In March, the UN said at least 42 people were killed after an apparent helicopter gunship attack on a boat near Yemen. The boat was carrying Somali refugees when it was attacked in the Hudaydah area off Yemen’s Red Sea coast.