Here is what you don’t know about the coalition in Yemen!
Saudi Arabia says a school bus targeted in an airstrike in Yemen last month was a “legitimate target” after finally admitting “mistakes” which killed scores of children while U.S welcomes , but also supports.
Colonel Turki al-Maliki, the spokesman for Saudi-led troops in Yemen, also denied that the vehicle hit in the airstrike was a school bus full of children, despite much evidence to the contrary.
Maliki told CNN in an interview on Sunday that intelligence information showed the bus was “not a school bus because there is no school at that time when the incident happened.”
His allegations came on the same day Human Rights Watch called the macabre August 9 attack in a busy market in Yemen’s northern Sa’ada an “apparent war crime.”
On Sunday, Human Right Watch urged an end to all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia after it was revealed that a US-made bomb was used in the attack.
The Saudi attack “on a bus full of young boys adds to its already gruesome track record of killing civilians at weddings, funerals, hospitals, and schools in Yemen,” Bill Van Esveld, a senior children’s rights researcher at HRW, said in a statement.
The US on Sunday welcomed the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s admission that it had made “mistakes” in a deadly airstrike on a bus in Yemen that left scores of children dead, Anadolu reports.
“The United States regards the Saudi-led Coalition’s announcement that it will review their rules of engagement, hold those at fault accountable, and compensate victims following the Joint Incident Assessment Team’s finding that last month’s Sa’ada air strikes lacked justification as an important first step toward full transparency and accountability,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
Notably, munitions experts have confirmed that a bomb used by Saudi Arabia in last week’s attack on a school bus in Yemen that killed dozens of children had been supplied by the US.
The experts told CNN on Friday that the bomb was a 227-kilogram laser-guided Mark 82 bomb.
They also noted that the numbers on the weapon identified major US military contractor Lockheed Martin as its maker.
Spain announced yesterday that it had cancelled a contract which would see Saudi Arabia buy €9.2 million ($10.6 million) of weapons from Madrid, Eldiario newspaper reported.
Some 400 high-precision bombs were to be supplied under the deal which was signed by the government of former prime minister Mariano Rajoy.
The decision comes following a Saudi air strike which hit a school bus and 51 people including 40 children in early August.
In March 2015, the US backed –Saudi-led coalition started a war against Yemen with the declared aim of crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement, who had taken over from the staunch Riyadh ally and fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while also seeking to secure the Saudi border with its southern neighbor. Three years and over 600,000 dead and injured Yemeni people and prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, the war has yielded little to that effect.
Despite the coalition claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
A UN panel has compiled a detailed report of civilian casualties caused by the coalition during their war against Yemen, saying the coalition has used precision-guided munitions in its raids on civilian targets.
Sayyad Abdulmalik AL-Houthi claimed on one of his speech that Saudi Arabia is just a tool used by USA and Israel to fight Yemen to conquer it and wrestle control over Red Sea and Bab-AL-Mandab which will enable them to rule the world.
According to several reports, the coalition air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as the coalitiondeadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.
Last week UN human rights experts said some Saudi-led coalition air strikes in Yemen have caused heavy civilian casualties and may amount to war crimes.