The Saudi-led coalition, supporting the legitimate government in Yemen, said on Sunday it was deeply saddened by the regrettable and painful bombing of the great hall in Sanaa on Saturday, which reportedly led to deaths and injuries.
“The coalition will immediately investigate this case along with the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) in Yemen, and the team will seek advice from the US which can help with their experiences and lessons learned in such investigations,” the coalition said in a statement sent to Arab News.
“The coalition is also willing to provide the investigation team with any data and information related to its military operations on Sunday, at the incident’s location and surrounding areas. The result of the investigation should be announced as soon as it’s completed,” added the statement.
“The coalition expressed its deepest condolences and support to the families of the victims of hostilities since the coup in Yemen in 2014. The coalition confirms that its troops have clear instructions not to target populated areas and to avoid civilians,” the statement added
Also on Sunday, Saudi air defenses intercepted two ballistic missiles launched by Houthi militias targeting Maarib, and Taif inside the Kingdom. Earlier in the day, the coalition forces repelled an attack by Houthi militias and forces loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh, which tried to reach the Saudi border off Al-Khubah in Jazan region.
The militias’ infantry tried to attack the Saudi border on several points through the Yemeni mountains bordering Saudi Arabia, especially Mount Razih, but was foiled by an attack carried out by the coalition jet fighters and artillery.
Military sources said dozens of militants died in the attack. Their military vehicles and missile launchers were also destroyed.
The coalition takes all measures to ensure that its airstrikes are precisely conducted to avoid civilian gatherings, its spokesman Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri told Arab News earlier.
“The coalition has always avoided such gatherings and these have never been targets of the air raids,” Al-Assiri explained. Accusations against the coalition come as Yemeni citizens in Sanaa continue to stage massive demonstrations against the Houthi militias, who have caused damage and wreaked havoc on Yemen since they took over the capital two years ago, helped by the forces supporting former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Meanwhile, in a desperate attempt, Houthis set up roadblocks and disperse their troops in the streets to prevent citizens from responding to calls on social media to gather in the center of the capital, eyewitnesses from Sanaa said.
Over the past two days, the hashtag “ana nazel” (I am participating) has been trending on social media, vowing to sustain the protest against the Houthi militias, accused of starving the Yemeni people and failing to pay public servants’ salaries for the past two months. Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi had transferred the Yemeni Central Bank from Sanaa to Aden two months back.