Saudi-led coalition admits errors in Yemen airstrike

A US-made Saudi Royal Air Force F-15 Eagle

A US-made Saudi Royal Air Force F-15 Eagle

It expressed "regret for these mistakes" and offered "condolences and solidarity with the families of the victims". It warned that some of the strikes "may amount to war crimes", Reuters reported.

Over 50 people, including 40 children, were killed in the airstrike, which targeted a bus that Saudi intelligence officials said they believed was carrying senior Houthi rebels.

In a damningreport issuedlast week, the United Nations echoed the assessment of human rights organizations and concluded that the Saudi-led coalition-often with bombs manufactured in the US-has likely "perpetrated, and continue [s] to perpetrate, violations and crimes under worldwide law".

Delays in executing the strike after a no-strike order had been issued should be investigated, Mansour said.

The New York-based group said it spoke by phone to 14 witnesses, including nine children, who said that shortly before 8:30 a.m. on August 9, a bomb fell on the market in Dhahyan, a town north of Saada in Houthi-controlled northwestern Yemen, 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Saudi border.

Yemen's civil war has pitted the Saudi-led coalition, which supports Yemen's government, against Houthi rebels backed by Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran.

The US State Department welcomed on Sunday the Saudi-led coalition's announcement as "an important first step toward full transparency and accountability".

The U.N. panel also pointed to possible war crimes committed by the Houthi rebels fighting the coalition. "Governments selling arms to Saudi Arabia should recognize that the coalition's sham investigations do not protect them from being complicit in serious violations in Yemen".

In the past three years, "such airstrikes have hit residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities", the report said.

Yemen has been devastated by a conflict that escalated in early 2015, when the Houthis seized control of much of the west of the country and forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee overseas.

The devastating conflict has since left almost 10,000 people dead and sparked what the United Nations has described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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