The Saudi-led coalition yesterday admitted it carried out an air strike on a blood bank in the Yemeni capital Sanaa earlier this year by “mistake”.
The attack on the National Centre for Blood Transfusion and Research on 27 April was accidental, according to findings of the coalition’s investigative body, the Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT).
Spokesperson Mansour Al-Mansour, a notorious Bahraini military lawyer, made the announcement yesterday saying investigators had examined the scene of the air strike and had taken statements from medical and administrative staff who work at the building.
A “defect in the bomb” was the cause for “the mistake”, he said, adding that members of the coalition will provide assistance in repairing the damage caused.
In the aftermath of the attack, the Houthi aligned Ministry of Health condemned the direct targeting of health facilities by the coalition and issued a statement describing it as a war crime, as it hinders the provision of blood transfusion services for cancer patients and those with blood diseases in addition to the wounded. Before pointing out that the centre provides all hospitals in the nearby provinces with blood supplies.
According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), around 67 per cent of all reported civilian fatalities in Yemen since 2015 have been caused by Saudi-led coalition air strikes, making the coalition “the most responsible for civilian deaths”.
To date, nearly 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict.