Saudi-led coalition admits 'mistakes' made in deadly bus attack in Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen acknowledges "mistakes" were made in last month's de...

Posted: Sep 3, 2018 9:41 AM
Updated: Sep 3, 2018 9:41 AM

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen acknowledges "mistakes" were made in last month's deadly airstrike on a school bus in northern Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency said Saturday.

The attack killed 51 people, including 40 children, according to the Houthi-held Health Ministry. The coalition cited "mistakes in compliance to the rules of engagement."

Bombings

Continents and regions

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

North America

Saudi Arabia

The Americas

United States

Unrest, conflicts and war

Yemen

Military

Military operations

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Homicide

The children had been on a field trip to a graveyard for rebels, one of the few green spaces left in Yemen's Saada governorate.

In a statement, the command issued "regret over the mistakes, extends its sympathies and solidarity to the families of the victims." It issued its conclusions after reviewing the findings of an assessment team.

"The Joint Forces Command will, as soon as the official findings are received, undertake legal proceedings to hold the ones who committed mistakes accountable according to the rules and regulations related to such cases," the coalition said.

It added that it will "continue to revise and enhance its rules of engagement according to operational lessons learned, in a manner that guarantees non-recurrence of such incidents."

CNN established that the bomb that hit the school bus on August 9 and killed dozens of children was US-made and had been sold to Saudi Arabia as part of a State Department-sanctioned arms deal.

The explosive was found by CNN to be an American-made, 500-pound (227-kilogram), laser-guided MK 82 bomb, a weapon similar to one that killed 155 people in an October 2016 attack on a funeral hall in Yemen.

Earlier that same year, a strike on a Yemeni market -- this time reportedly by a US-supplied precision-guided MK 84 bomb -- killed 97 people.

CNN learned this week that the Pentagon warned Saudi Arabia it is prepared to reduce military and intelligence support if the Saudis do not demonstrate efforts to limit civilian deaths in airstrikes.

The United States has defended its role. It says it does not make targeting decisions for the coalition.

The Pentagon said Saturday that it welcomed the coalition's report.

"The Department of Defense welcomes the Saudi-led Coalition's announcement of the investigation findings of the targeting incident of August 9, 2018," Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement.

"We also appreciate the Coalition's decision to take legal measures to ensure accountability and make the necessary improvements to its Rules of Engagement to prevent such a tragedy in the future," she also said.

Yemen's civil war began in early 2015 when Houthi rebels -- a minority Shiite group from the north of the country -- drove out the US-backed government and took over the capital, Sanaa.

The crisis quickly escalated into a multisided war, with neighboring Saudi Arabia leading a coalition of Gulf states against the Houthis. The coalition is advised and supported by the United States and the UK, among other nations.

On Tuesday, a UN panel of experts said parties fighting in the civil war have conducted attacks that were "disproportionate" and could be considered war crimes. The UN report covered the period from September 2014 to June 2018.

All sides are "responsible for a violation of human rights" and crimes "continue to be perpetrated," the report said.

The report points to thousands of civilian casualties caused by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, widespread arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence and the conscription of children as young as 8 into Yemen's armed forces, all of which are crimes under international law.

Since March 2015, 6,660 civilians have been killed in the conflict and more than 10,500 injured, according to the UN Human Rights Office. Experts have said the real numbers are likely to be much higher, pointing to coalition airstrikes that have hit residential areas, markets, weddings and medical facilities.

The fighting has continued since the August 9 airstrike on the school bus, which sparked international outrage. In late August coalition airstrikes killed 30 people, including 22 children in a rebel-held area in northwestern Yemen, according to the Houthi-controlled Health Ministry.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 74°
Kokomo
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: °
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 74°
Williamsport
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 74°
Crawfordsville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 74°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Some storms with some severe weather risk...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 767409

Reported Deaths: 13980
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1054251805
Lake569191030
Allen42938698
St. Joseph37313568
Hamilton37298426
Elkhart29749470
Tippecanoe23479230
Vanderburgh23201405
Porter19573327
Johnson18822392
Hendricks18072321
Madison13548346
Clark13533198
Vigo12834256
LaPorte12566225
Monroe12546178
Delaware11143198
Howard10672237
Kosciusko9777124
Hancock8740150
Bartholomew8262157
Warrick8069157
Floyd8027182
Grant7366181
Wayne7233201
Boone7184105
Morgan6910143
Marshall6332116
Dubois6274118
Cass6090111
Dearborn601278
Noble599290
Henry5947111
Jackson516377
Shelby510898
Lawrence4922127
Gibson462696
Montgomery458192
Clinton455255
DeKalb455285
Harrison453577
Whitley415745
Huntington415582
Steuben410660
Miami405573
Jasper401155
Knox388391
Putnam385062
Wabash369083
Adams352956
Ripley351271
Jefferson341886
White339654
Daviess3090100
Wells303581
Greene293485
Decatur292593
Fayette286364
Posey281735
Scott280058
LaGrange277572
Clay273348
Washington254037
Randolph247783
Jennings239449
Spencer238731
Fountain235250
Starke229859
Owen222659
Sullivan221343
Fulton208345
Jay202932
Carroll197322
Orange191156
Perry189739
Vermillion180844
Rush177527
Tipton172747
Franklin171935
Parke155216
Pike141734
Blackford138032
Pulaski123648
Newton123036
Benton109715
Brown106043
Crawford105616
Martin92515
Warren87715
Switzerland8348
Union73610
Ohio58111
Unassigned0428

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events