Saudi Arabia has announced that it will form a “fact-finding committee” to investigate yesterday’s bombing of a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Yemen, a strike which wounded nine people and destroyed the site.
Though Saudi investigations don’t have any better track record than most militaries’ internal investigations, the move is still a surprise shift, as previously the Saudi government has responded to massive civilian casualties in airstrikes with blanket denials.
The Saudi airstrikes against Yemen have killed thousands over the past nine months, and the war shows no sign of a resolution any time soon. The US backing for the Saudi strikes has only added to concerns about the humanitarian nightmare they are causing.
Saudi officials seem likely to remain defiant even after announcing an investigation into the attack on the MSF site, issuing a separate statement warning aid agencies need to “remain away from the places where the Houthi militias are present.” Since this means most of Yemen, it suggests the reckless strikes will continue.