Yemen's Houthis welcome UN call for investigation into air strikes

Yemen's Houthis welcome UN call for investigation into air strikes

Smoke rises after an airstrike in Sanaa
Smoke rises after an airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen August 9, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

DUBAI: Yemen's Houthi group welcomed on Friday a call by the United Nations for an independent investigation into Saudi-led coalition air strikes that killed dozens of people a day earlier, including children travelling on a bus.

"We welcome the call of the secretary general (of the United Nations) and we are ready to cooperate," the head of the Houthis' supreme revolutionary committee, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said in a tweet.

A Yemeni health official and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday than an air strike had hit the bus carrying children as it drove through a market in northern Saada province.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday condemned the air strike and called for an "independent and prompt investigation," his spokesman said.

The Western-backed alliance fighting the Iranian-aligned Houthis said the air strikes had targeted missile launchers used to attack the southern Saudi city of Jizan on Wednesday, killing a Yemeni civilian there.

It accused the Houthis of using children as human shields and said the strikes were carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in a three-year-old war, lies on one of the world’s most important trade routes for oil tankers, the Bab al-Mandeb strait.

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Source: Reuters/na