The Arab Coalition supporting the legitimate government in Yemen promised on Thursday to investigate a military operation this week that the United Nations said killed at least 17 civilians in the latest of three attacks this month on a market.
The coalition has been supporting the legitimate government in fighting the Iran-backed Houthis for almost five years in Yemen.
UN humanitarian coordinator Lise Grande said first reports showed 17 people, including 12 Ethiopians, died and 12 people were injured in Tuesday’s strike on the al-Raqw market in Saada, an area near the Saudi border controlled by the Houthis.
A November 20 attack there killed or injured 28, and another on November 27 killed or injured 32, according to the United Nations.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki, in a statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA, said an initial review of the operation in Saada indicated possible “incidental losses and collateral damage”.
The case has been referred to the coalition’s incident assessment team in keeping with its commitment to international humanitarian law, Malki added.
The United Nations has been trying to broker an end to the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions to the brink of famine.
The Houthis, who control most large urban centers, deny they are puppets of Iran and say their revolution is against corruption, while the Arab Coalition backs the internationally recognized government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi that was ousted from power in the capital, Sanaa, by the Houthis in late 2014.
Saudi Arabia has recently stepped up informal talks with the Houthis on a ceasefire.
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