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INVESTIGATIONS

Multiple attacks on 22 May Hospital in Al Hudaydah

January 22, 2020

Multiple attacks on 22 May Hospital in Al Hudaydah

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Incident information

Location: Al Khamseen Street in Al Hudaydah, a city in western Yemen on the Red Sea coast

Target: 22 May Hospital

Date: The hospital have been targeted several times during 2018/2019 we mentioned three of them in this investigation

The first time was in November 4

The second time was March 4th

The third time was June

Time of Attack:

We could not obtain the exact timing of the first targeting, but the first publication of the news was around 7 pm Yemen time

The second target was between 12:00 and 15:00 Yemen time, according to the analysis of the shadow tool for the first video published at the time of the incident

The third targeting We could not determine the actual time of the incident, but the first video posted for the targeting was at 21:48 pm Yemen time

Reported killed: none

Reported injured: none

Potentially responsible: Ansar Allah Al-Houthi

Multiple attacks on 22 May Hospital in Al Hudaydah

By collecting, verifying and analysing open source data, Yemeni Archive can conclude that 22 May Hospital was attacked on multiple occasions in 2018 and 2019. The hospital is located on Al Khamseen Street in Al Hudaydah, a city in western Yemen on the Red Sea coast.

The hospital was targeted by Houthi forces with artillery shells and heavy weapons. It was first targeted on the 4th of November in 2018 and then targeted a second time on the 4th of March in 2019 and then a third time on the 26th of June. These attacks show a pattern of systematic attacks on health care in Yemen. Based on the evidence analysed, there were no civilian casualties, but the bombings burned and destroyed the building.

The 22 May Hospital provides comprehensive health care in Al Hudaydah, saving residents from travelling to the capital, Sana’a, in order to receive medical treatment. Forcing it to stop its work causes a major loss to the Yemeni health sector, according to Dr. Anwar al-Nahari. Houthi forces and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh took control of the city of Al Hudaydah in October 2014.

Satellite image of 22 May Hospital

Image showing the number of attacks we documented during 2018-2019

What happened?

In November 2018, the hospital was near the frontline of clashes between Houthi forces and Saud-led coalition forces. A Map of Middle East Wars Facebook post shows areas where clashes were taking place on the end of the third day since the offensive on Al Hudaydah began. According to the Almashhad Alyemeni news outlet, Houthi forces stormed the 22 May Hospital and the doctors housing quarters in Al Hudaydah and turned it into a military barracks, then deployed weapons at the hospital yard and on the rooftops. A few days later, the medical staff and patients were forced to leave the hospital as a result of the clashes according to reports from The New Arab and Sky News.

On November 9, Houthi forces escaped from the hospital after booby-trapping it and detonating upon departure, according to the National Resistance Forces who tweeted the news. According to the WAM news outlet, in a report published on YouTube, some units of the hospital, such as emergency, reception, intensive care, heart and catheterisation, were destroyed as a result of the fires in the hospital. On November 11, Abu Said AlSahel AlGharb posted on his Facebook page a video of the National Resistance Forces media center, showing the remnants of weapons left by Houthi forces and which was captured by the coalition forces after the hospital came under their control.

On March 4, 2019, Houthi forces shelled the 22 May Hospital with mortar shells, according to a Sawt Almuqawama Radio tweet the day after the attack on Twitter. News outlets such as Yemen Window and Sabaq newspaper reported that Houthi forces bombed the hospital and Ikhwan Thabet mall, located next to the hospital, despite the absence of military targets. Several individuals and news agencies circulated a video showing the moment the hospital was bombed, including Alwfaq news and Muammar alEryani Yemen’s Information Minister.

At midnight on June 26, 2019, several news networks and activist pages reported another bombing of the 22 May Hospital with artillery shells and heavy weapons by Houthi forces, which led to fires that devoured the second and third floors of the building. Shortly after the attack, the National Resistance Forces posted on their Facebook page a video by their “military media” showing a fire caused by “the bombing by Houthi forces”.

When and where did the attacks take place?

To determine the exact location of the target, Yemeni Archive collected visual content from the attacks and, using key objects and attributes at the location, matched them with satellite imagery taken from the 22 May Hospital in Al Hudaydah.

Yemeni Archive could not determine the actual timing of the attack on the hospital but was able to determine the date of the attack by collecting and verifying the first posts which reported the news on social media.

On November 4, 7adramout_net published the first tweet of news that the Houthi forces had stormed 22 May Hospital, transformed it into a military barracks, isolated the emergency staff and detained the doctors and patients inside the hospital.

We confirmed the time using the Timestamp Converter tool. Photojournalist Walid al-Kamal published the first Facebook post of Houthi forces storming the 22 May government hospital also stating that forces had turned it into a military barracks, deployed snipers, isolated emergency staff and detained doctors and patients.

Sada Alsahel news outlet published a video in early 2019 showing the impact of the November attacks on the 22 May Hospital.

While the Yemen channel today posted on Twitter at 11:22 pm local time, her first tweet related to the attack of March 2019

The first footage of the March 2019 attack appeared in a video posted on The Yemen Twitter account.

The footage showed that a grass hedge was cut in the form of the hospital’s name, May 22. The image was corroborated with one found in Google Maps.

Photos and videos showed that the March attack occurred when the weather was partly cloudy. To add a new layer of verification, we checked the weather on March 4 using the Wunderground tool and found that the weather between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm, at the time of the video, was indeed cloudy.

For the June 2019 attack, the first tweet reporting the attack came from Yemen Today and was posted after midnight at 12:26 am on June 27. Yemen Now, another outlet, published news on Twitter of a fire caused by the bombing of the 22 May hospital on June 26th.

On the same day of the incident, the National Resistance Forces posted a video on their Facebook page of the moment of the shelling. Yemeni Archive verified the time the video was published using the Timestamp tool.

Yasmin Muhammad also posted on her Facebook page news of a fire on the second floor of the hospital as a result of bombing by Houthi forces.

December news outlet posted on its YouTube channel a video indicating that military media had distributed photos and preliminary scenes of the fire that broke out at the 22 May Hospital in Al Hudaydah as a result of the shelling by Houthi forces on June 26.

The exact date of upload, 26 June, can be verified using the YouTube DataViewer.

The video was uploaded at 10:48 pm local time in Sanaa. The UTC shown in the data browser was converted to local time in Sanaa.

The West Coast Liberation spokesperson Wadhah al-Dabish Abu Muhannad posted a video on June 27 on his YouTube channel showing the hospital’s destruction. Alamalika Brigades Media Center also published a video showing the impact of the bombing of the hospital. In the video, a witness says “Houthi forces bombed the 22 May Hospital which led to a huge fire in the hospital’s warehouse but thank God and the Joint Forces and its fire brigades, the fire was extinguished. And as you can see the fire led to the burning of laptops and offices.”

Below are photos from the hospital published by Alamalika Brigades Media Center on June 27, compared with a satellite image of the location. The images show a match, therefore verifying the photos.

Photo from a video released by the Alamalika Brigades Media Center on June 27 of the hospital compared to a Satellite image

Photo from a video released by the Alamalika Brigade Media Center on June 27 of the hospital compared to a Satellite image

On June 28, Yemen Today published a report on YouTube about Houthi forces targeting the 22 May Hospital and causing a massive fire that almost completely destroyed the contents of the second and third floors. The visual contents of the report were also verified using satellite imagery.

A picture from a video published by Al-Yemen today channel for the hospital, which was compared to the image of Satellite

Yemeni Archive compared the videos published by the spokesperson of the Alamalika Brigades and the Republican Guard with a satellite image to confirm the nature of the attack and the location and also found a match.

Videos from the media spokesperson of the Alamalika Brigades and the Republican Guard were compared with a satellite image to confirm the nature of the attack and the location

Videos from the media spokesperson of the Alamalika Brigades and the Republican Guard were compared with a satellite image to confirm the nature of the attack and the location

Destruction of the hospital

Images captured from a video posted by WAM on YouTube on November 13 show the damage to the hospital following attacks.

Picture from a video published by WAM news channel showing the effects of the destruction on the hospital

Pictures from a video published by WAM news channel showing the effects of the destruction of the hospital.

A photo from Alamalika Brigade Media Center that was compared with another image from the Republican Guards show the destruction of the hospital on June 26.

A photo from the media center of the Alamalika Brigade, compared with another image of the Republic’s guards showing the effects of the damage to the hospital

News Yemen also published photos of the destruction of the hospital in November.

A picture of the hospital entrance, released by News Yemen in November

A picture from inside the hospital, released by News Yemen in November

A picture from inside the hospital for one of the rooms, published by News Yemen in November

A picture of the hospital entrance, released by News Yemen in November

Sada al-Sahel news agency also posted a video showing the destruction of the hospital from the November attacks.

A picture taken from a video published by Sada Al-Sahel channel showing the effects of the destruction of the hospital from the inside of one of the rooms after it was bombed in 2018.

A picture taken from a video published by Sada Al-Sahel channel showing the effects of the fire on one of the floors of the hospital after it was bombed in 2018.

Pictures taken from a video published by Sada Al-Sahel channel showing the effects of the destruction of the rooms and the effects of the fire after it was bombed in 2018

Pictures taken from a video published by Sada Al-Sahel channel showing the hospital logo in the medical kit

Picture taken from a video published by Sada Al-Sahel channel showing the effects of the fire in one of the rooms after it was bombed in 2018

The following are images from Yemen Today TV show the destruction of the hospital on June 26.

A picture from Al-Yemen TV channel today shows the effects of the destruction of the hospital from outside

A picture from the Yemen TV channel today shows the effects of the destruction of the hospital from outside, and the logo of the hospital is visible in it

A picture from Al-Yemen TV channel today shows the effects of the destruction of the hospital from outside

Weapons Used

The following are images of the weapons found after the Ansar Allah movement withdrew and coalition forces took over the hospital published by WAM news channel on YouTube on November 13, 2018. However, as for the other two targets, there was not a lot of evidence of the weapons that have been used.

A picture of the weapons found in the hospital yard as published by WAM news channel

A picture of the weapons found in the hospital yard as published by WAM news channel

A picture of the weapons found in the hospital yard as published by WAM news channel

A picture of the weapons found inside the hospital, as published by WAM news channel

The Yemeni Archive is fully independent and accepts no money from governments directly involved in the Yemeni conflict. We are seeking individual donations to carry out our work. Please consider supporting our work through our Patreon page.

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