Saudi-Led Coalition: Yemen Blood Bank Bombing was a Mistake

Claims a 'defect in the bomb' was behind incident

Saudi Arabia has issued a statement this week on their April 27 airstrike against a Yemeni blood bank, saying that the attack was an accident, and that it was the result of a “defect in the bomb.”

This was an interesting statement, since the Saudis don’t generally admit to mistakes in the Yemen War, and rarely brings up such incidents, especially months after they’ve fallen out of the headlines.

Yemen’s Health Ministry complained that the attack was a war crime, preventing blood transfusions in  several provinces. Yet this was hardly the only Saudi attack on hospitals or other vital medical facilities in the war. In general, such attacks just happen, are criticized, and then never heard about again.

Saudi Arabia seems to be increasingly aware of how badly the Yemen War is playing in the West, and while officials seem only too willing to keep selling them weapons, keeping those arms sales flowing also requires at least a little public relations on some of their worst excesses. While a “flaw” in a bomb is a fairly limp excuse, it’s more than has been offered generally.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of