RIYADH: The Arab coalition in Yemen has admitted accidentally bombing the National Center for Blood Transfusion and Research in Sanaa.
According to a report by Yemen’s National Committee for the Investigation of Allegations of Human Rights Violations, the medical facility was struck on April 27 this year by a concrete bomb that destroyed part of the building and much of the equipment inside.
The incident was one of four reviewed by Coalition forces. The results of the reviews were announced on Wednesday by Mansour Al-Mansour, a spokesman for the Coalition’s Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT).
He said that investigators had examined the scene of the airstrike at the blood transfusion center and taken statements from medical and administrative staff who work in the building, which is about 200 meters from a gas station at a Yemeni Special Security Forces camp.
A defect in the bomb was blamed for the mistake and he added that Coalition nations will provide assistance to repair the damage caused by the bomb.
Al-Mansour said that JIAT refuted the remaining three allegations. In the first, it was claimed that a farmhouse had been bombed in Aslan, in the Baqim district of Saada governorate, on Nov. 2, 2017, killing seven members of the farmer’s family, including three children.
Al-Mansour said JIAT found that Coalition forces carried out only one air mission that day, which targeted a legitimate military target: a building used as a weapons depot by Houthis, located 3.8 kilometers from Baqim.
Coalition forces were also accused of striking a house near Al-Nasr school in the Qabbaytah district of Lahj governorate on June 21, 2016. There was no mention of any injuries or deaths. Al-Mansour said that JIAT reviewed all air missions on that date and established that the coalition was not responsible for the attack.
The third alleged coalition incident involved an air strike in Sanaa on May 27, 2018 that injured an unknown number of civilians, including children, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
After reviewing the daily mission schedules, JIAT said that the day before the date of the claim, Coalition forces carried out an aerial mission on a legitimate military target, a gas station, in Sanaa. This attack was previously reviewed by JIAT and the findings announced on May 22, 2019. The day after the date of the latest claim, Coalition forces carried out an aerial attack on a cave being used as a weapons store in a Houthi militia camp. Two guided bombs hit the target, which was 20 km from Sanaa. Al-Mansour added that JIAT found the Coalition did not carry out any aerial missions in Sanaa on the date of the claim.