Misinformation led to Saudi coalition attack on Yemen funeral, officials say

SANAA, Yemen, An investigation determined a Saudi-led coalition’s attack on a funeral in Yemen which killed more than 100 people was based on bad information.

An investigation into an Oct. 8 bombing by a Saudi-led coalition’s attack on a funeral in Yemen, which killed 140 people, determined the attack was caused by misinformation. According to the investigators, “a party affiliated” with the chief of staff of Yemen’s president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi informed the coalition a group of Houthi leaders were at the location and encouraged them to target the location immediately. Screen capture/Al Jazeera/YouTube

As part of a 14-nation Saudi-led inquiry, the Joint Incidents Assessment Team said the coalition aircraft which carried out the Oct. 8 attack killing 140 people were wrongly told the civilian funeral was filled with Houthi leaders, according to the BBC.

Investigators also stated that “a party affiliated” with the chief of staff of Yemen’s president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, “insisted that the location be targeted immediately as a legitimate military target,” the Washington Post reported.

The inquiry determined the Air Operation Center in Yemen also directed aircraft toward the funeral without obtaining approval from the coalition’s command.

“Because of non-compliance with coalition rules of engagement and procedures, and the issuing of incorrect information, a coalition aircraft wrongly targeted the location, resulting in civilian deaths and injuries,” the inquiry team said, according to RTE.

Senior officials and a large number of civilians were among the 140 killed in the attack. Some 525 people were also injured as a result of the bombing, prompting a call for compensation for their families.

“Appropriate action…must be taken against those who caused the incident, and…compensation must be offered to the families of the victims,” the inquiry team stated.

The Saudi-led coalition initially denied that its planes were involved in the strike, but later called the attack “regrettable and painful” prior to launching the investigation.

By Daniel Uria