Iran-backed Houthi fighters have been
deployed at a medical center in Yemen's Hodeidah to use as a sniper
position and putting lives in jeopardy, according to Amnesty International.
Amnesty warned that this is a sign that the Houthi fighters are militarizing hospitals and using civilians as human shields.
Houthi gunmen expelled hospital staff from the building on Friday and placed a team of snipers on the roof, Amnesty said. By such action, the hospital has been turned into a potential target for air strikes, in violation of international law, Amnesty added.
The incident comes a day after the UN warned that starving children in Hodeidah's al-Thawra Hospital are at “imminent risk of death.” Meanwhile, a clinic carrying life-saving medicines was destroyed by gunfire.
Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East director of campaigns, said, “This is a stomach-churning development that could have devastating consequences for the hospital’s medical workers and dozens of civilian patients, including many children, being treated there."
“Placing gunmen on a hospital roof blurs lines which should never be blurred. Hospitals are not a target; the sick and injured have an absolute right to safe medical treatment at all times, and medical workers must be allowed to carry out their lifesaving work,” Hadid added.