Arab coalition to probe Yemen funeral carnage
THE Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen said it will investigate an air raid that killed some 140 people at a funeral, after the US said it was reviewing support for the alliance.
The Iran-backed Huthi rebels blamed the coalition for the October 8 attack, one of the deadliest since the alliance launched a military campaign against the Shiite insurgents in March 2015.
The attack could further sour USSaudi ties already strained over the coalition’s military intervention, which is suspected of causing almost half of the more than 4000 civilian deaths in Yemen’s conflict.
It also risks embarrassing Washington, which has vehemently criticised Moscow over the heavy civilian death toll in Aleppo from Russian air raids in support of Syria’s regime.
After initially denying any responsibility, the coalition said it was ready to launch a probe into the “regrettable” strike, which the UN said also wounded more than 525 people.
“The coalition will immediately investigate this case along with ... experts from the US who participated in previous investigations,” it said.
Riyadh’s key ally Washington said it had launched an “immediate review” of support to the coalition.
“US security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank cheque,” said White House National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price.
The Huthis accused the coalition of a “massacre”, saying its planes hit a gathering of hundreds mourning the death of the father of rebel interior minister Jalal al-Rowaishan.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Sanaa, chanting slogans against Saudi Arabia and the US. The coalition has come under increasing scrutiny over civilian deaths. –
Commandos patrol the Yorckgebiet district of Chemnitz, eastern Germany, where police hunting a fugitive bomb plot suspect raided a flat on October 9.
Yemenis salvage items from the rubble of the destroyed funeral hall building in Sanaa on October 8.