Saudi-led coalition 'regrets' MSF withdrawal in Yemen
Aug.19, sanaa: A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has expressed "deep regret" over a decision by the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical aid group to evacuate its staff from the north of the country. It was pulling its staff from six hospitals in northern Yemen after a coalition air strike hit a health facility operated by the group, killing 19 people.
The coalition to support the legitimacy in Yemen expressed its deep regret over MSF decision to evacuate its staff from six hospitals in northern Yemen," the coalition said in a statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA, adding that it was seeking an urgent meeting with the aid group.
The coalition said it was committed to respecting international humanitarian law in all its operations in Yemen and had set up an independent team to investigate incidents in which civilians were killed.
MSF is one of handful of international aid groups operating on the ground in Yemen where a 16-month civil war between a Gulf Arab coalition and the Houthis - rebels allied with Iran - has killed more than 6,500 people and brought one of world's poorest countries close to famine.
Dozens of Saudi-led air strikes and shells launched by the Houthis have hit civilians in Yemen since the Arab coalition began military operations in March 2015 in an attempt to return toppled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.
MSF said many of these attacks had struck health facilities, putting patients and staff in danger and displayed a failure by warring parties to control the use of force.
The Oslo Times International News Network