A WEEK after the air raid that hit a funeral hall in Sana’a, the commander of the Arab Coalition announced that their investigations showed that coalition forces were responsible for the attack, which resulted in an unintended negative outcome. The commander confirmed that misinformation provided by the Yemeni army was the main reason for the air raid. He reiterated that the Coalition was responsible for the unfortunate attack and prepared to bear the consequences and compensate the victims’ families.
This fast and brave confession made by the Coalition was a rare act in time of war, and it shows that the Coalition respects and abides by the rules of engagement, which protect civilians. This admission of fault clearly shows the difference between countries and militias. The Kingdom and its allies that form the Coalition love the Yemeni people and Yemen and never wanted this war in the first place.
However, the Houthis and Saleh opposed the legitimate government in Yemen and breached all of the agreements they had signed to solve this political dilemma. They showed no respect for the Gulf Initiative or the recommendations of the Yemeni National Dialogue Conference. What is worse, they planned to hand over the Yemeni people and the country to Iran’s mullah regime, which does not care about Yemen and is anxious to see more bloodshed so that the Arab world is torn apart.
We all know that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz ordered that relief efforts in Yemen be intensified. At the beginning of the war, the King ordered the establishment of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center to ensure constant and regular supplies of aid to Yemen.
Although the Coalition was not directly responsible for the air raid, it admitted its responsibility. Have the Houthis and Saleh ever admitted the crimes that they have committed? They have bombed hospitals, demolished mosques and stolen relief provided by the Kingdom for the displaced. They have even prevented aid from being delivered to the needy and the most badly hit areas to which the legitimate government could not provide aid.
The Houthis and Saleh’s group have bombed residential areas and killed civilians on a daily basis near the Saudi-Yemeni border. Dozens of innocent Saudis have been killed needlessly and senselessly and have lost their property. As reported in global newspapers, the Houthis and Saleh’s group have recently begun launching missiles toward vessels passing through the Mandeb Strait and the Red Sea, an important shipping lane.
The greater responsibility for this sad incident should fall on the Houthis and Saleh, who were responsible for the start of this war in the first place. The Kingdom and its allies warned against the consequences of the war and tried hard to prevent it.
Even after the war broke out, the Coalition used all diplomatic means to stop it. One of the attempts was the UN Security Council resolution number 2216 issued on April 14, 2015 by a majority of 14 votes; Russia abstained from voting. The resolution called on the Houthis to abide by six rules: stop all acts of violence, pull out forces from all areas, stop interfering in the affairs of the legitimate government, stop hostility against Yemen’s neighbors, release Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mahmoud Al-Subaihi and all political prisoners and stop recruiting child soldiers.
Things can go wrong during wars to the extent that even friendly forces may suffer from mistakes. This is known as friendly fire. Countries which have had experience in war also make mistakes. For example, British forces shot down one of their own planes over the Falklands Islands during their war with Argentina. US forces shot down two Black Hawk helicopters that entered a no-fly zone in northern Iraq in 1994.
I am sure that the Yemeni people realize that the Saudi leadership and people love Yemen and its people. The Kingdom offered condolences to the victims’ families. The Houthis and Saleh will go down in history as the ones who were responsible for getting Yemen into this nasty war.