Middle East

Saudi coalition announces probe of Yemen airstrike

Attack on funeral in Sanaa kills more than 140, Saudis announce investigation after initial denial

Saudi coalition announces probe of Yemen airstrike

By Zakaria Al-Kamali

SANAA, Yemen

Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen on Sunday promised an immediate investigation into an airstrike on a funeral that killed more than 140 people.

In a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency, the coalition said the probe would be conducted with U.S. experts

“Our troops have clear and explicit instructions not to target civilians and to spare no efforts to avoid them dangers,” the statement said.

It added: “The required information will be provided for the investigation team, including those related to the military operations carried out on Saturday by our forces in the area of the incident and the surrounding areas.”

The statement did not say when the investigation was expected to report but said the results would be made public.

Saudi Arabia earlier denied claims from the Houthi rebel government that the coalition was responsible.

The attack targeted the funeral of the father of Houthi Interior Minister Galal al-Rawishan in capital Sanaa on Saturday evening. More than 500 were injured in the attack.

UN humanitarian aid chief Stephen O’Brien said he was “horrified and extremely disturbed” by the attack.

“This horrendous and heinous attack displayed an utter disregard for human life,” he said in a statement. “It highlights once again the disproportionate risk for civilians when explosive weapons are used in urban areas.”

The White House also condemned the attack and announced an immediate review of “already significantly reduced” support to the coalition.

Thousands of civilians have been killed since the war broke out in September 2014 and millions have been forced from their homes. The violence has pushed the country to the brink of famine as the Saudi coalition seeks to return President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to power.

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