Saudi-led Probe Team Says Wrong Information Behind Yemen Attack

The Saudi-led coalition’s air attack on a funeral in Yemen’s capital Sana’a that killed more than 100 people this month was caused by wrong information provided by the Yemeni army, the Saudi-led investigation team said.

A party affiliated to the Yemeni Presidency of the General Chief of Staff wrongly passed information that there was a gathering of armed Houthi rebel leaders in a location in Sana’a that led to the Oct. 8 strikes, Saudi state-run news agency SPA reported, citing a statement by the Joint Incidents Assessment Team. An aircraft was directed to the location without getting approval from the coalition command, it said.

Yemeni rescue workers search for victims amid the rubble of the destroyed funeral hall on Oct 8.

Photographer: Mohammed Huwais/AFP via Getty Images

Long a strategic ally of the U.S. in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has drawn international condemnation over the Yemen war. It faced bipartisan criticism in Congress for using American weapons in Yemen, though the Senate blocked a measure to prevent a $1.15 billion arms sale last month.

The investigation team called for "appropriate action" against those responsible and for the review of rules of engagement to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Saudi Arabia, the champion of Sunni Islam in the Middle East, assembled a military coalition in March of last year to help restore the rule of Yemeni President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi. The campaign began with airstrikes, followed by the deployment of troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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