SANA’A (Dispatches) – Yemen has welcomed an investigation by independent committees into the bombing of a Saudi-led military base in Ma’rib, a day after former president Mansur Hadi said the attack had killed 14 civilians at a nearby petrol station.
“We asked the brothers in the Defense Ministry and they said that they only bombed the base,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, said via Twitter on Sunday evening.
“We welcome and demand that independent committees investigate the matter,” al-Houthi added.
Media outlets close to Hadi had earlier claimed that a strike had killed 14 civilians at the petrol station in the city of Ma’rib, the former Saudi-backed government’s last northern stronghold.
Al-Houthi said the Defense Ministry “will be obligated to pay compensation” if the investigation finds it guilty.
Saudi Arabia and some of its regional allies, backed by the United States and other Western powers, have been waging a deadly war on Yemen beginning in March 2015 to reinstall Hadi and crush the Ansarullah movement’s revolution.
The war – which the Saudis claimed would last only a few weeks but is still ongoing – has killed more than 230,000 Yemenis in what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
A Yemeni deputy minister strongly lambasted the years-long Saudi inclusive siege imposed on Yemen, saying the crippling and inhumane blockade is a major obstacle to any possible move made to forge peace among the warring parties.
Hossein al-Ezi, deputy foreign minister of the Yemeni government, made the remarks on Saturday, saying the Saudi-led coalition is using the tight blockade against tens of millions of Yemenis as a “weapon to extract political and military gains.”
He condemned such an illegal act by the invading enemy and denounced it as a “major obstacle to peace”, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported.
“Every talk about peace will remain dull. All doubts about our intentions toward negotiations will remain unfair and incomprehensible as long as the siege continues,” the Yemeni deputy minister wrote in a post on his official Twitter account.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni Petroleum Company (YPC) criticized the United Nations for its silence and inaction to step in and pressure the Saudi-led coalition into releasing ships carrying energy derivatives destined for the impoverished and war-ravaged Arab country.
Speaking at a protest rally outside the UN office in Sana’a on Monday, YPC spokesman Essam al-Mutawakel called for an immediate end to the brutal siege against Yemen and seizure of oil vessels, which have left the nation in desperate struggle to survive amid a harsh shortage of fuel.
He stated that the United Nations should take a prompt action to lift the blockade on Sana’a International Airport and Ras Isa oil terminal as soon as possible.
Mutawakel also said that two ships carrying fuel, oil and diesel had already anchored in Yemeni ports in the past two days, while a ship carrying gasoline was scheduled to arrive within the next few days.