The Saudi coalition’s discredited Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) released the findings of its “investigation” of the Aug. 9 massacre of more than 50 civilians, including at least 40 children:
The head of the coalition’s Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT), Lt Gen Mansour al-Mansour, said its investigation had found that the bus was carrying Houthi leaders and fighters and was therefore a “legitimate” military target, but admitted that the location of the strike had led to collateral damage.
Reuters gives the general’s full quote:
“There was a clear delay in preparing the fighter jet at the appropriate time and place, thus losing (the opportunity) to target this bus as a military target in an open area in order to avoid such collateral damage,” JIAT legal advisor Mansour Ahmed al-Mansour told reporters in the Saudi capital.
The coalition is saying that their mistake was that they didn’t blow up the bus full of schoolchildren soon enough. Their position is that the attack would have been fine if they had killed the children with an airstrike when the bus was not in a crowded market, but that their mistake was in taking too long before bombing the bus and slaughtering the boys. They were always intending to bomb the bus and kill everyone on board, and now they express regret only because they murdered these kids too late.
The Saudis and their allies would have us believe that it is “legitimate” to massacre dozens of children because a Houthi leader may have been present, but this just shows that they don’t understand the first thing about their obligations under international law. The results of the coalition’s “investigation” show that they aren’t learning or improving at all when it comes to reducing harm to civilians in Yemen, and it is safe to assume at this point that they never will. It is imperative that Congress cut off all military assistance to the coalition and end U.S. involvement in this atrocious war.