The U.S. on Sunday welcomed the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s admission that it had made “mistakes” in a deadly airstrike on a bus in Yemen that left scores of children dead.
“The United States regards the Saudi-led Coalition’s announcement that it will review their rules of engagement, hold those at fault accountable, and compensate victims following the Joint Incident Assessment Team’s finding that last month’s Sa’ada air strikes lacked justification as an important first step toward full transparency and accountability,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
She said Washington continues to call on all sides to abide by the Law of Armed Conflict, to mitigate harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure, and thoroughly investigate and ensure accountability for any violations.
“It is imperative that all parties work toward a comprehensive political solution to avoid further harm to the Yemeni people,” read the statement.
The statement came a day after the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said : “The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition expresses regret over the mistakes, extends its sympathies, condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims.”
On Aug. 9, a Saudi-led airstrike targeted a bus carrying children in Yemen’s northwestern Saada province. At least 50 people, mostly children, were killed and dozens of others injured.
The coalition said it would undertake legal proceedings “to hold the ones who committed mistakes accountable”. It also pledged voluntary assistance to those affected in the attack.