Saudis Reject Claims of Summer Civilian Casualties in Yemen Attacks

Officials reiterate official narrative, declare allegations 'refuted'

Early in the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen, it was decided, mostly by the Saudis, that reports of civilian casualties could be internally investigated, again mostly by the Saudis. That’s what they’ve done since.

Typical of the program, officials reported on their inquiry into incidents this summer in which Saudi warplanes killed a number of Yemeni children in Jawf Province, and also attacked a water truck.

Declaring all the matters “refuted,” the reports seemed to rest on the strategy of just reiterating official reports of what happened, declaring now that this is what happened so alternate reports with casualties must be wrong.

Where specific incidents were addressed at all, they were dismissed very glibly. The water truck attack, for instance, concluded that the attackers saw the truck on the video before the airstrike, and that they didn’t think it looked like a water truck.

As far as civilian deaths, the reports argued that the strikes weren’t at the exact claimed location of the houses, or if they were that there was no house present during the strike, or that the house looked fine to them afterwards, and not in keeping with the casualties claimed.

Throughout the war, the Saudis have consistently shown a disinterest in investigating the aftermath of airstrikes, and everyone investigating in a formal capacity seems determined to dismiss things as soon as possible.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of