The Saudi-led coalition confirmed that an airstrike on a school bus which killed dozens was unjustified, claiming it would punish those responsible for the mistakes that led to the tragedy. It also pledges to provide compensation to the victims in coordination with the Yemeni government.
"The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition expresses regret over the mistakes, extends its sympathies, condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims," read a statement published by Saudi state news agency the SPA.
Addressing the incident, Mansour Ahmed al-Mansour, legal adviser for the Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT), an investigative body for the coalition, stressed on Saturday that the strikes were carried out due to intelligence data that suggested the bus was carrying Houthi leaders.
"An order had been given not to target the bus, which was among civilians, but the order arrived late," Mansour said, adding that "There was a clear delay in preparing the fighter jet at the appropriate time and place, thus losing (the opportunity) to target this bus as a military target in an open area in order to avoid such collateral damage."
Yemen has been divided by a conflict between the government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement for several years. The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015.