SANA’A – The Saudi-led invasion coalition has labelled the airstrike that killed at least 51 civilians in Sa’ada governorate a “mistake”. The statement was made on Saturday, following a investigation into the circumstances of the attack, conducted by representatives of the Saudi coalition itself.
Right after the attack had taken place on August 9, the invading coalition’s spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Malki had originally defended the targeted airstrike on a school bus full of children as an attack on a “legitimate military target” that included “targeters and planners” loyal to the Ansarullah. However, no evidence for this claim has been given.
The brutal attack has drawn condemnation from around the globe, including from UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres, and even met with calls for investigation from Saudi Arabia’s main backer, the United States.
Following this, the Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT) of the Saudi coalition launched its first ever real investigation.
While the Saudi admission that “mistakes were made” does not amount to admission of guilt to deliberately targeting civilians, nor does it signify a change of military strategy by the invaders, the fact that for the first time international pressure has made the Saudi regime relent, is a big change on its own.