World, Middle East

Arab coalition to probe civilian deaths in Yemen

Saudi-led Arab coalition set to probe air raid in northern Saada province which allegedly killed 29 people

Arab coalition to probe civilian deaths in Yemen FILE PHOTO

By Ahmed al-Masry and Zakaria al-Kamali, and Mohamed al-Samei

DOHA, Qatar

The Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen said Wednesday evening that it is investigating accusations its forces targeted a popular market in northern Yemen’s Houthi-held Saada province, allegedly killing at least 29 people, the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The Arab coalition said its “Joint Forces Command has followed with a great deal of concern what has been circulating in some media outlets regarding the allegations that the Coalition targeted ‘Souk Elaf’ in the Sahar/Sadah province,” SPA reported.

The coalition added: “Preliminary findings will be announced as soon as operational vetting and comprehensive reviews take place.”

The remarks came after Yemen’s Houthi Shia militia claimed earlier Wednesday that at least 29 civilians were killed in a coalition air raid, the Houthi-affiliated Saba news agency reported.

“The U.S.-Saudi coalition committed a massacre on the Souk Al-Lail area, the Night Market area, by launching airstrikes, with 28 also injured,” Saba quoted Dr. AbdulElah Ezzi, a local health officials, as saying.

“Most of the injured people are in critical condition,” he added.

The Arab coalition denies targeting civilians in Yemen, saying that there are some raids that cause unintended civilian casualties.

Impoverished Yemen has remained in a state of civil war since 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s pro-Saudi government.

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