Saudi-led coalition admits deadly Yemen strike on bus was unjustified

Published: September 2, 2018
SHARES
Email
Mourners attend a funeral of people, mainly children, killed in a Saudi-led coalition air strike on a bus in northern Yemen
PHOTO: REUTERS

Mourners attend a funeral of people, mainly children, killed in a Saudi-led coalition air strike on a bus in northern Yemen PHOTO: REUTERS

RIYADH: A Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said on Saturday it accepted that an air attack last month that killed dozens of people, including children traveling on a bus, was unjustified and pledged to hold accountable anyone who contributed to the error.

The rare concession follows mounting international pressure, including from allies, to do more to limit civilian casualties in a three and a half year civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people and pushed the already impoverished country to the brink of famine.

The Western-backed alliance fighting the Iranian-aligned Houthi group in Yemen said at the time that the Aug 9 air strikes at a market in Saada province had targeted missile launchers used to attack southern Saudi Arabia a day earlier and accused the Houthis of using children as human shields.

At least 31 killed or wounded in Yemen missile strike

The Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT), an investigative body set up by the coalition, said on Saturday that the strikes had been based on intelligence indicating the bus was carrying Houthi leaders, a legitimate military target, but delays in executing the strike and receiving a no-strike order should be further investigated.

“There was a clear delay in preparing the fighter jet at the appropriate time and place, thus losing the opportunity to target this bus as a military target in an open area in order to avoid such collateral damage,” JIAT legal advisor Mansour Ahmedal Mansour told reporters in the Saudi capital.

“The team believes that the coalition forces should immediately review the application of their rules of engagement to ensure compliance,” he added.

The coalition later announced that it accepted those findings and pledged to hold accountable anyone who was proven to have made a mistake.

Facebook Conversations

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in World