Yemen: Saudi-Led Coalition Admit That Attack On Civilians That Killed Young Children Was A ‘Technical Mistake’


On the morning of August 25, 2017, an air raid hit Yemen’s capital Sana’a killing 14 civilians including several children. The day after the incident, the Saudi-led military coalition took responsibility for the bombing, stating that “A technical mistake was behind the accident.” The attack occurred just two days following another set of attacks on Yemen’s capital that killed 35 people, for which rebels claim the coalition was also behind the attack.

Amnesty International reported that an eyewitness said, “the attack was one of a series of air strikes which began in the area at around 2:00 AM and continued for at least half an hour.” Furthermore, Coalition spokesman, Colonel Turki al-Malki, said the coalition “regrets the collateral damage caused by this involuntary accident and offers its condolences to the families and relatives of the victims.” Meanwhile, The World Health Organization roughly estimated that 8,400 civilians had been killed and 47,800 wounded after the coalition interfered in the civil war.

In addition, the ongoing conflict in Yemen is severely troubling and the civil war continues to worsen. Many human right groups, specifically Amnesty International, have called on the United Nations to take immediate action against Saudi Arabia for their actions, Liz Throssell, UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman, states that “In the week from August 17 to August 24, 58 civilians have been killed, including 42 by the Saudi-led coalition.” As such, the United Nations must address and implement sanctions rapidly as human rights violations in Yemen continue to take place, Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International stressed, stating that “We are calling on the UN to look at the evidence … hundreds of young lives lost to reckless airstrikes in the last year – and review this decision for the upcoming Children in Armed Conflict report.”

The consequences of the coalition’s involvement are concerning, especially as they are restricting the war-torn nation from receiving aid. If the actions of the Saudi-led coalition are not appropriately dealt with by the United Nations and the international community, the humanitarian crisis will continue to intensify as they are obstructing Yemeni citizens from receiving critical aid. For instance, earlier this month, Middle East correspondents, Sophie McNeil and Moohialdin Fuad, reported on the conditions stating that “after two years of relentless airstrikes and a blockade that has partially closed the country’s main port and completely closed the main airport, there is just not enough food to feed Yemen’s 28 Million people.” Additionally, humanitarian issues in Yemen, now, mostly revolve around the deadly cholera outbreak that has troubled more than a half-million people since late April.

Moreover, the situation in Yemen is extremely alarming, with the United Nations declaring it the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world.” As well, while putting an end to the conflict in Yemen may prove to be significantly difficult, interfering with the actions of the Saudi-led coalition would crucially assist the humanitarian problems that are occurring. However, as innocent civilians continue to suffer from the actions of the Saudi-led military coalition, human rights groups call on the United Nations to act and implement an investigation into the abuses of human rights and humanitarian laws.