YEMEN CONFLICT AIRSTRIKE, hospital.jpg
Smoke billows rise above the city following a Saudi-led airstrike targeting a Houthi position in Sana'a, Yemen, 15 August 2016. According to reports, at least 15 Yemenis were killed and others wounded when a Saudi-led airstrike targeted a hospital operated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Yemen's northern Hajja province.
Photograph: EPA/YAHYA ARHAB

The Saudi-led alliance that has been bombing Yemen since March last year on Friday expressed "extreme sorrow" over medical aid group Doctors Without Borders' decision to withdraw its staff from the northern part of the country.

The group, also known as MSF, said Thursday it was evacuating its staff from six hospitals it supports in northern Yemen after an airstrike at one of the facilities left 19 people dead.

MSF attributed its decision to "indiscriminate bombings" and "unreliable reassurances" by the Saudi-led coalition.

The international medical charity also said that since the suspension of the peace talks between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels in Kuwait earlier this month, the Saudis have "resumed an intensified campaign in northern Yemen."

"The alliance confirms its appreciation for the organization's work with the Yemeni people under these difficult circumstances," the coalition said in a statement, according to official Saudi news agency SPA.

"The alliance is seeking to hold urgent meetings with MSF to know how we can together reach a solution to this situation."

Yemen's conflict has intensified since March 2015, when the Iran-allied rebels advanced on the southern city of Aden, prompting Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni allies to start an air campaign against the group.

Saudi Arabia fears that the rebels will give its regional rival, Shiite Iran, a strategic foothold in the Arabian Peninsula.

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