Saudi airstrikes destroy Yemen World Heritage sites

Three ancient buildings collapsed in the Yemeni capital Sana’a after their foundations were weakened by the Saudi coalition air strikes on the city, official authorities said.

The structures, which had been inscribed on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have repeatedly come under threat as a result of the five-year war that carried out by the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen.

Heavy rains which caused flooding further eroded the buildings’ foundations causing them to collapse, officials explained, adding that the owners were killed as a result.

“First, the rockets shook the Old City’s homes, and then the rain did, too,” said Abdullah Al-Hadrami, a resident of the Old City of Sanaa.

The historical Old City of Sana’a is well-known for its numerous mosques and “hammams”, in addition to 6,000 mud-brick houses dating back to before the eleventh century.It is believed that Sana’a was founded 2,500 years ago.

UNESCO has pledged nearly $70,000 to restore buildings damaged during the rainy season in Yemen, said Amat Al-Razzaq, director of the General Organisation for the Preservation of Ancient Cities. She added that this amount will be sufficient only for the restoration of 40 homes.