PARIS/NEW YORK , OCTOBER 29, 2015 — Despite denials by the Saudi-led coalition, it is beyond doubt that it struck and destroyed a hospital supported by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Haydan, Yemen, on October 26, MSF said today, adding that the hospital had previously been damaged by coalition attacks.
The Haydan area has been under intense airstrikes for months. During this time, MSF alerted the Saudi-led coalition on multiple occasions that the airstrikes in Haydan were destroying civilian facilities and damaging the hospital, as directly witnessed by MSF teams. On the night of October 26, MSF alerted Saudi officials in Riyadh that the hospital was under attack. “Saudi authorities are denying the evident truth of having destroyed a hospital,” said Laurent Sury, head of MSF emergency operations. “This is an alarming sign for the Yemeni people and for those trying to assist them. 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?”
On June 30, July 6 and July 7, airstrikes hit roughly 250 meters from the hospital, targeting houses, a school and a market.
On July 23, seven bombs fell in Haydan, hitting a market, a gas station, two houses and a school situated 75 meters from the hospital and shattering hospital windows and walls. In all cases, MSF alerted coalition forces. No responses were ever provided.
MSF again urges the Saudi-led coalition to provide clear explanations for the October 26 attack, and insists that the coalition and its supporters must commit to respect health structures and allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations cut off from all aid.