The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called for launching a “credible and transparent” investigation into a recent airstrike by the Saudi-led military coalition that killed dozens of schoolchildren in northern Yemen.
The call was made during a closed-door Security Council meeting on Friday, a day after Saudi-led warplanes attacked a school bus in a market, killing at least 50 civilians, mainly schoolchildren, and wounding 77 others in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada.
“They expressed their grave concern at these, and all other recent attacks in Yemen. They called for a credible and transparent investigation,” British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce, council president for August, said after a senior UN official briefed the 15-member council on the brutal strike.
Pierce added that the council “will now consult with the UN and others as to how the investigation can best be taken forward.”
A few hours after that attack, UN Secretary General António Guterres denounced the deadly aerial aggression and called for an independent investigation into the case.
The bus targeted by the coalition forces was carrying a group of young schoolchildren attending summer classes of the Holy Qur’an, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported.
The Saudi-led coalition, in a defiant statement, has described the massacre as a “legitimate action” to target missile launchers used by Houthi Ansarullah fighters to target the southern Saudi city of Jizan.
Saudi Arabia and some of its allies launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which is a significant aid to the Yemeni army in defending the country against the invading forces. The movement has also been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration during the past three years.
The imposed war initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.
Some 15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of the Saudi-led aggression.
The Saudi-led aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
Several Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.