Medical organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) claims it gave a Saudi-led coalition GPS coordinates of its hospitals in southern Yemen ahead of air strikes that wounded nine people, including two medical staff.
The aerial bombings targeted a park in Taiz city's al-Houban district, 2km from the MSF's mobile clinic, which was evacuated. The organisation said it informed the Saudi-led coalition that its jet planes were attacking nearby. But the clinic was attacked anyway wounding nine people, including two who are now in critical conditions.
"The health structure's GPS coordinates were regularly shared with the Saudi-led coalition, most recently on 29 November, when we informed them about this specific activity in Al Houban," says Jerome Alin, MSF's head of mission in Yemen."There is no way that the Saudi-led coalition could have been unaware of the presence of MSF activities in this location."
The attack was the fourth on an MSF facility in two months and the second in two days. A hospital supported by the organisation in Homs, Syria, was partially destroyed in a double-tap barrel bombing, killing seven people, including a young girl.
Double-tap tactics, in which the first bombing is followed by a second one after health professionals have arrived to cure the victims, bear the hallmark of the Syrian air force. The barrel bomb was dropped from a helicopter on a crowded area of Zafarana, in northern Homs, on Saturday, followed an hour later by two barrel bombs at the entrance of the MSF-backed hospital. A total of 47 people including both patients and medical staff were wounded in the attack.
MSF has been providing emergency medication and surgical supplies to hospitals in Taiz since early May 2015, and in the past two months has also provided medical care in the al-Hobuan area.
At the end of October, a Yemeni hospital in Sa'ada run by MSF was hit and destroyed by Saudi missile strikes. Yemen's state news agency Saba, which is now run by the Shia Houthi rebel group, quoted the hospital's director Doctor Ali Mughli as saying that several people were injured in the attack.
"The air raids resulted in the destruction of the entire hospital with all that was inside – devices and medical supplies – and the moderate wounding of several people," he said.
Earlier in October, the US bombed an MSF-run hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, killing 30 people and destroying an intensive care unit.
The bombing of MSF hospitals is the latest strike at civilians in the Saudi-led seven-month air mission against the Houthis, who have seized Yemen's capital Sanaa. More than 5,600 people have died in the conflict and human rights groups have expressed concerns at the mounting number of civilian deaths caused by the aerial bombings.
On 28 September, an aerial bombing on a wedding party in Yemen killed at least 131 people, according to doctors.