Saudi-led Coalition 'Regrets' Deadly Attack on Yemen School Bus

Published September 2nd, 2018 - 07:10 GMT
A man carries a wounded child to the hospital Thursday after the Saudi-led coalition carried out an airstrike on a crowded area in Houthi-controlled Saada province. (AFP/File)
A man carries a wounded child to the hospital Thursday after the Saudi-led coalition carried out an airstrike on a crowded area in Houthi-controlled Saada province. (AFP/File)

The Saudi-led coalition on Saturday expressed regret over "mistakes" in a deadly airstrike on a bus in Yemen that left scores of children dead.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said, "the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition expresses regret over the mistakes, extends its sympathies, condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims."

On Aug. 9, a Saudi-led airstrike targeted a bus carrying children in Yemen’s northwestern Saada province. At least 50 people, mostly children, were killed and dozens of others injured.

The coalition said it would undertake legal proceedings "to hold the ones who committed mistakes accountable."

It also pledged voluntary assistance to those affected in the attack.

Lt. Gen. Mansour al-Mansour, the head of the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT), said in a press conference in Riyadh that the videos of the aircraft that launched the strike were being investigated.

"The authorities were informed that there were Houthi leaders in the bus. The order to hit the bus in an area away from the civilians was given when the bus was moving. As there was no nearby warplane in the area, the target could not be hit at that moment. After the bus stopped at a place where there were civilians around, another order not to target the bus was given but the order arrived late."

The airstrike was the latest in a series of attacks by the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition in the country. The forces entered Yemen three years prior in order to fight Houthi rebels who had taken over the Yemeni government in the capital, Sanaa.

Yemen has been wracked by war since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa.

The loss of the capital forced President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and his government to take up temporary residence in Yemen’s coastal city of Aden.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies -- accusing the Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies -- launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains and shoring up Hadi’s pro-Saudi government.

UN-sponsored peace talks held in Kuwait the following year failed to end the destructive conflict.

The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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