Local News

Saudi-led coalition says Yemen civilians hit by mistake

Written by Staff

The Saudi-led Arab military coalition on Saturday admitted responsibility for an air strike the previous day in the Yemeni capital that killed 14 civilians, describing it as a “technical mistake”.

The attack was the latest in a wave of deadly raids on residential areas of Yemen blamed on the coalition, drawing strong international condemnation.

The coalition, in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said a review of the strike investigators had found “that a technical mistake was behind the accident”.

Witnesses and medics in Sanaa said several children were among 14 people killed in Friday’s air strike that toppled residential blocks in Sanaa.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al Malki had told AFP on Friday that he would “review the information” about the strike.

On Saturday, he said in the statement that the coalition “regrets the collateral damage caused by this involuntary accident and offers its condolences to the families and relatives of the victims”.

Friday’s raid targeted Faj Attan, a residential neighbourhood in the south of the capital that has been controlled since 2014 by Houthi rebels.

The coalition on Saturday accused the rebels of “setting up a command and communications centre in the middle of this residential area to use civilians as human shields”.

The International Committee of the Red Cross on Friday condemned the raid as “outrageous”.

The coalition entered Yemen’s war in 2015 in support of the government against the Iran-backed rebels, who seized Sanaa the previous year after forming a fragile alliance with troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The World Health Organisation estimates that nearly 8,400 civilians have been killed and 47,800 wounded since the Saudi-led alliance intervened in the Yemen conflict.

Friday’s raid came two days after at least 35 people died in a series of strikes on Sanaa and a nearby hotel that rebels also blamed on the coalition.

The coalition has come under massive pressure from international organisations including the United Nations over the raids.

Yemen, long the poorest country in the Arab world, also faces a deadly cholera outbreak that has claimed nearly 2,000 lives and affected more than half a million people since late April.

Original Article