Outrage in Yemen over girl shot by alleged Houthi sniper

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


Ruwaida Saleh, who is said to be 9 or 10 years old, was shot Monday (August 17th) in Taez as she went to fetch water for her family. [Photo circulated on social media]

An incident in Taez in which a young girl was shot as she fetched water for her family, allegedly by a Houthi sniper, on Monday (August 17th) has drawn outrage from Yemeni officials, civil society organisations and activists.

Following the incident in Taez's al-Rawda neighbourhood, Yemenis have called on the UN Human Rights Council to conduct urgent investigations into attacks on civilians.

The "water girl", who has been named as Ruwaida Saleh and is said to be 9 or 10 years old, was shot Monday as she went to fetch water for her family.

Photos circulated on social media show her small body lying in the median of a residential street, and show her brother attempting to rescue his injured sister.

Ruwaida, who was seriously wounded, is now receiving treatment at hospital.

The Co-ordinating Council of Civil Society Organisations in Taez condemned the incident.

Deputy Taez governor Abdul Qawi al-Mekhlafi called on the UN and international community to exert pressure on the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) to prevent them from targeting civilians.

“The humanitarian principles which are applicable in conflicts and wars, and which consider the targeting of civilians a war crime, must be adhered to,” al-Mekhlafi said Tuesday morning as he visited Ruwaida in hospital.

He urged the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council to conduct urgent investigations into the targeting of civilians and shelling of residential areas.

'Disregard for the blood of children'

Houthi snipers have targeted children and women in Taez before, rights activist Ahmed Hazza told Al-Mashareq.

“For six years now, the Houthis have been spilling children’s blood and mobilising their fighters against the children and women of Taez,” he said.

“The targeting of Ruwaida, who was just bringing water and not carrying weapons, is a crime revealing the brutality of the Iran-backed Houthis,” he said.

The Monday incident has sparked popular anger and condemnation because it shows the Houthis’ total disregard for the blood of innocent children, rights activist and writer Nabil al-Bakiri told Al-Mashareq.

“If the people had not been afraid of being targeted by the sniper themselves, they would have rushed to rescue her,” he said, noting that her brother returned to rescue her after hesitating, out of fear that he would face the same fate.

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May God damn them! They're rejectionist Houthi who have no mercy or humanity.


I swear to God that being afraid of these people does not solve any problem. ُThe more afraid the people of the region in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere become, the more their situation deteriorates. The solution is in not being afraid. Otherwise, they will rape, kill, and target [shoot] people in their heads and chests. Meanwhile, international organizations play the roles of scarecrows. I have a question. What is the use of these international institutions? As I have written here before, powerful countries must push aside these institutions and act independently. These institutions have become a toy in the hands of tyrants in Russia, China, Iran and elsewhere.


How did you know that the sniper was Houthi? I just want to know.


I can tell you how they knew the sniper was Houthi. This is because the child who the sniper hit was near the Houthi positions.


It is the truth, because we said so. Our aircraft from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia destroy everywhere, even hospitals and schools, and kill its people. The Houthis, however, only target our military bases. Why is it? That is, they do not want to kill our people. Why? Therefore, all the people in Yemen, young and old alike, must be killed.