A civilian house shelled in Al-Senaah neighborhood in TaizDecember 27, 2022
- Incident: A civilian house shelled in Al-Senaah neighborhood in Taiz
- Type: artillery bombardment
- Location: Al-Senaah neighborhood, Old Airport area, Al Mudhaffar District, Taiz Governorate
- Date: 30 October 2022
- Time: between 03:00 and 04:39 pm
- Victims: Two civilians, including a child killed, a child wounded
- Probable munitions: unknown
- Probable responsibility: Unknown
On the evening of 3 October 2022, artillery shelling on Taiz city killed two civilians, a father and his child, and injured another child whose leg was amputated after he arrived at the hospital. The victims were in their home in Al-Senaah neighborhood of the Old Airport area in Al-Mudhaffar district.
About the area
The Old Airport area is located in Al-Mudhaffar district, west of Taiz city, near the western road linking Taiz and Al-Hodeidah, which has been closed since March 2016. The area includes several populated neighborhoods, one of which is Al-Senaah neighborhood. The area is adjacent to the “35th Armored Brigade” former camp, which made it subject to continuous shelling. During the war, the 35th Armored Brigade became a deserted area for the most part, except for some military sites on its outskirts, which form a contact area with the Houthi “Ansar Allah” forces, west and northwest of the camp. While some of its areas near the civilian houses are used for feeding sheep.
The Houthis took control of the camp on 22 April 2015. In March 2016, government forces and the “Popular Resistance” in Taiz took control of the camp, and the Houthi forces retreated to the mountains overlooking the camp from the north and west.
A satellite image from Google Earth, showing the map of military control in Taiz. The Yemeni government forces (blue), the Houthi “Ansar Allah” forces (green), the Old Airport area (purple).
What happened (and when)
Reports on social media said that a civilian house in Al-Senaah neighborhood was shelled by artillery on the evening of 30 October 2022. The shelling caused civilian casualties, mostly children, just hours after similar shelling in the same area which injured three children.
A screenshot of a tweet by Taiz News Network about the first bombing of the Old Airport area
A screenshot of Taiz Time tweet about the second shelling the Old Airport area
On 30 October, photos of the child victims from inside the hospital were circulated in news websites and social media platforms. Video reports from inside the hospital in which the children were treated were also circulated. The visual, audio and written content included testimonies and details of the incident from first responders. At the hospital, most of the children’s injuries appear to have been caused by shrapnel that hit the lower part of the body and severely damaged their legs.
Suhail TV published a video report about the shelled house the day after the incident, showing the damage. Al-Hadath TV published another video two days after the shelling. Almost four weeks later, Al-Ghad Al-Mashreq TV published an additional video.
The visual evidence in the three videos showing the house and its damage is identical to the open source visual content we were able to find about the incident. Yemeni Archive team also visited the house to verify the impact site, and to document the damage to the house, and the surrounding landmarks to accurately determine the geographical location of the house.
A screenshot from Al-Hadath TV video of the shelled house
A screenshot from Al-Ghad Al-Mashreq TV video of the shelled house
A screenshot from Suhail TV video of the shelled house
Belqees TV published on its Facebook account the news of the shelling at 04:39 pm, as one of the first reports on social media. One of the paramedics said in a report by Yemen Shabab TV that shortly after he returned from work at 3:00 pm, he heard the sound of the explosion. The Health Office said in Communication No. 2 that the shelling of the airport area took place at 4:45 pm.
A screenshot of Belqees TV Facebook post about the second shelling of the Old Airport area
A screenshot of Communication No. 2 by the Public Health Office in Taiz on Facebook
Before that, Fouad Abdel Salam Al-Sharabi posted on Facebook indicating that the Houthis shelled the Old Airport area with mortar shells at 04:10 pm local time. The post mentioned the shelling of the area without specifying the location.
Based on the open source information, the shelling occurred between 03:00 and 04:39 pm on 30 October 2022.
The videos by Suhail TV, Al-Ghad Al-Mushreq TV and Al-Hadath TV show limited visual evidence of the impacted location of the house. Yemeni Archive team visited the house to examine the surrounding area so that we could verify the exact location.
We compared the landmarks that appeared in the previous videos with Yemeni Archive photos. There is a rectangular building seen from outside the house near the entrance, a white building behind the house with apparent destruction, and an unfinished building structure near the house, behind which a school is visible that was not shown by Suhail TV video.
A screenshot from Al-Ghad Al-Mushreq TV video and a photo by Yemeni Archive
A screenshot from Al-Hadath TV video and a photo by Yemeni Archive
A screenshot from Suhail TV video and a photo by Yemeni Archive
Al-Senaah neighborhood is located on the outskirts of the Old Airport area towards the northwest, approximately 50 km from the nearest camp facility of the 35th Armored Brigade, at coordinates: 13.597606, 43.961787, in Al-Muzaffar District, west of Taiz city, Taiz Governorate.
Yemeni Archive photos of the impacted house in Al-Senaah neighborhood, and a satellite image from Google Earth
The nature of the targeted site
Al-Senaah neighborhood in the Old Airport area is one of the most dangerous areas in Taiz due to its proximity to the front lines. However, the neighborhood is inhabited by civilians, including displaced people from other governorates, and residents who were forced to return after the battles in Taiz decreased for a long time. The Old Airport area, which includes Al-Senaah neighborhood, was subjected to frequent artillery shelling on residential neighborhoods close to the camp, some of which caused civilian casualties. The last shelling of the area occurred in August 2022 before Al-Senaah neighborhood was shelled.
Green: Houthi controlled areas. Red: government forces. Purple: former 35th Armored Brigade camp. Yellow pins: the locations where the two shells landed. The remaining area is populated.
The Houthi-controlled hills are located approximately 1km north of the damaged house. The hills can be seen from Al-Senaah neighborhood, as can be seen in the photo from the entrance of the damaged house.
The green arrows indicate the military sites (hills) of the Houthi Ansar Allah forces overlooking the house and the former 35th Armored Brigade camp
We can see civilian women, children and old men in the area in the videos of Al-Hadath and Al-Ghad Al-Mushreq TVs. The reports show the suffering of the residents of the Old Airport neighborhood. Al-Hadath TV video shows women walking on the side road between the impacted house and the main road.
A screenshot from Al-Ghad Al-Mushreq TV video showing civilians, children, and adults, in front of the entrance to the impacted house
A screenshot from Al-Hadath TV video showing civilians on the road between the main road and the impacted house
A woman whose husband and child were killed in the house says, in a report by Al-Ghad Al-Mushreq TV, that they are residents of the old airport neighborhood, and they were unable to flee to safe areas because of their weak financial capabilities that do not enable them to rent a house. The woman says that these conditions forced them to live there and “see death” with their own eyes.
We have visual evidence of the impact in the house from the videos by Al-Hadath, Suhail and Al-Ghad Al-Mushreq, in addition to the photographs by Yemeni Archive. The impact of the destruction was evident in the yard of the house, which seemed to include an outdoor kitchen for the family.
A photo by Yemeni archive shows the door, the water tank, and the area adjacent to the impacted site
The visual content shows the collapse of the outer brick wall in the yard of the house
A screenshot from Suhail TV video showing a tandoor, wood, and household utensils among the rubble in the kitchen destroyed by the shelling
Photos by Yemeni Archive show shrapnel damage to the walls opposite the water tank
The visual content also shows that shrapnel penetrated the house from the front door opposite the kitchen and hit two walls in the house opposite the door where the father was sitting, killing him.
A screenshot from Suhail TV video showing the shrapnel impact on the walls
It does not seem that the shell caused a fire at the site. The burn marks are caused by the smoke of using the tandoor, a domestic oven.
A screenshot from Suhail TV video show people moving the rubble of the wall and the outer kitchen
The available incident-related visual content did not show the remains of the munitions that would help identify the weapon used in the attack. Some sources said that it was mortar shells, while some others only mentioned artillery shelling.
In a post on Facebook by the spokesperson for Taiz military axis, Colonel Abdul Basset Al-Bahr, commenting on the shelling of the house, he said that the Houthis shelled the Old Airport area and Thirty Street the night before the incident with heavy artillery shells (mortar 120), and that the shelling continued from morning until evening with mortars and several of heavy artillery shells .
A screenshot of a Facebook post by the spokesperson for Taiz military axis, Colonel, Abdul Basset Al-Bahr
Fouad Abd al-Salam al-Sharabi also reported that the shelling of the Old Airport area was carried out using mortar shells. It seems that Fouad is a member of the government forces, and he constantly posts about military movements and developments on the Western Front.
A screenshot of Fouad Al-Sharabi’s Facebook post
Rakan al-Jubaihi, the media secretary of the commander of the Taiz military axis - according to his profile information - described on Twitter the shelling as “artillery.”
A screenshot of Rakan Al-Jubaihi’s tweet about the incident
Based on the available content related to the incident, Yemeni Archive could not identify who is responsible for the shelling. However, news websites and local activists in Taiz city accused Ansar Allah.
Suhaim Ahmed Yahya Al-Amiri (32 years old), killed
Sami Suhaim Ahmed Yahya Al-Amiri (4 years old) killed
Amir Sharif Ahmed Al-Amri (2 years old) injured – his leg was amputated
Based on the above-mentioned information, Yemeni Archive concluded that a civilian house in the Al-Senaah neighborhood of the Old Airport area, west of Taiz city was shelled by artillery on the evening of 30 October 2022, killing two civilians, including a child, and injured another child whose leg was amputated in the hospital.