Saudis: Unfair to Criticize MSF Hospital Strike Until Investigation

Saudi Envoy Suggests Houthis Attacked Their Own Territory

Saudi Ambassador Abdullah al-Mouallimi expressed outrage today that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement criticizing the Saudi airstrikes which destroyed the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in a residential district of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

As has often been the case in situations where a Saudi airstrike fueled international outcry, the Saudis retroactively denied carrying out any airstrikes in the area. Mouallimi suggested that the Shi’ites Houthis who control the district attacked it themselves for no reason.

The Saudis insist that it’s inappropriate for anyone to criticize the strike until they have carried out their own internal investigation into the incident. Despite promises of transparency, so far Saudi inquiries into incidents where they’ve denied being responsible never really seem to resolve in any serious way, leaving major incidents like the Mocha wedding party attack in limbo more or less forever, with the Saudis claiming huge massacres flat out didn’t happen, no one believing them, but no chance of anyone ever holding them accountable.

Which is of course the whole point. The Saudis have shown a great preference for no oversight over their huge civilian tolls in the Yemen war, and managed to scare the UN away from independent investigations into the casualties during the General Assembly, rather backing a resolution allowing the Saudis and their allies to investigate themselves.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of