Saudi airstrike in Yemen
© REUTERS/ Khaled Abdullah
As the Saudi-led alliance, backed by the United States, continues its bloody operation in Yemen, the International Committee of the Red Cross reports coalition jets are "deliberately" targeting hospitals and clinics, as the civilian death toll continues to rise.

The news follows reports of a civilian hospital coming under fire on Sunday in the southern city of Taiz, in Yemen's most densely populated region.

"The neutrality of healthcare facilities and staff is not being respected," Kedir Awol Omar, the deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen, told Common Dreams. "Health facilities are deliberately attacked and surgical and medical supplies are also being blocked from reaching hospitals in areas under siege."

According to the publication, Saudi jets on Sunday repeatedly shelled the Al-Thawra hospital, considered one of the area's most important health care facilities, providing medical assistance to 50 patients daily. The attack was carried out just weeks after another significant facility - a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic - was reportedly attacked in the northern city of Haydan.

On Tuesday, MSF stated that the situation in Taiz, where the half of the population is displaced, is deteriorating, as foundation activists were unable to supply hospitals in the city's most dangerous areas with medication and equipment.

"The situation in Taiz is dramatic and will only get worse in the coming weeks if no efforts are made to spare civilians from the violence and allow them to access basic services, including health facilities," Karline Kleijer, MSF's emergency manager for Yemen, said.

ICRC labeled the recent attacks "a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law."

Saudi officials refrained from commenting on the Taiz shelling, and claimed they were unaware that the earlier attack in Haydan had targeted a clinic.

"This is an alarming sign for the Yemeni people and for those trying to assist them," Laurent Sury, head of MSF emergency operations, said. "How are we to draw lessons from what happened when all we face are denials? How can we continue to work without any form of commitment that civilian structures will be spared?"

But the blame doesn't fall solely on Riyadh, according to aid workers. Amnesty International pointed out that while the jets taking part in airstrikes against hospitals were Saudi, the bombs dropped onto targets were in fact American.

"The US and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law," Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's senior crisis response adviser, claimed.

"Lack of accountability has contributed to the worsening crisis and unless perpetrators believe they will be brought to justice for their crimes, civilians will continue to suffer the consequences," Rovera added. "[The] world's indifference to the suffering of Yemeni civilians in this conflict is shocking."

So far, over a hundred hospitals across Yemen have been shelled by Saudi-led forces since the beginning of the international military campaign in March, according to official data.