Botched Saudi Airstrike Kills 70 Yemeni Soldiers, Wounds Hundreds

Troops Were Loyal to Former President, Were Backing Saudis

Saudi Arabia has had a flurry of bad results in its airstrikes against Yemen in recent days, killing hundreds of civilians and sparking growing disquiet among human rights groups about the war crimes being committed, particularly with the ongoing naval blockade.

Tuesday night’s incident may prove the most embarrassing for the Saudi forces, however, as they launched an airstrike “in error” against a military base in Hadramawt Province, manned by troops that are on the Saudi side and loyal to the exiled government. 70 troops were killed and some 200 others wounded in the attack.

Gen. Mohammed Maqdisi, the army chief, confirmed the site was hit in error, though later some reports emerged claiming the troops were considering defecting to the Houthi side in the war. Even if they weren’t, the survivors will almost certainly be less apt to back the Saudis in the future.

In three months of war over 3,000 people have been killed in Saudi airstrikes, roughly half of therm civilians. The number of allied troops they’ve accidentally killed overall is unclear, but this is doubtless the largest such incident of the war so far.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.