The Saudi-led coalition has claimed that a residential area it bombed in Yemen Friday had housed a rebels’ communications center but admitted to the collateral damage that caused 14 deaths.
The spokesman for the Arab Coalition forces Col. Turki Al-Malki, on Saturday said that a review has been completed of an alleged targeting of a house in a residential district of the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
Investigation by the Coalition’s joint command showed that the target was a Houthi militia communications command and control center that was located in the middle of a residential area to utilize ‘ civilians as human shields,’ he said in a statement released to the Saudi media.
He added that all procedures related to operational planning and implementation were reviewed and no faults were found. However, a technical fault resulted in an unintentional incident resulting in collateral damage to civilians.
While claiming that the review revealed that the strike did not directly target the civilian house, Col. Al-Maliki expressed his ‘deepest sorrow’ over the collateral damage to civilians.
The attack came just two days after at least 35 people died in a series of strikes on the Yemeni capital Sanaa and a nearby hotel that rebels also blamed on the coalition.
Friday's air attack that toppled residential blocks in southern Sanaa's Faj Attan neighbourhood was the latest in a wave of deadly raids on residential areas of Yemen blamed on the Saudi-led alliance, drawing strong international condemnation, Al Jazeera reported quoting Yemeni sources.
Meaqnwhile, Lynn Maalouf, the Middle East research director of Amnesty International, said the coalition "rained down bombs on civilians while they slept". A press statement by Amnesty International called upon the United Nations to take action against Saudi Arabia over the list of civilian facilities struck in deadly air raids over the past two years.