Yemen’s government, which is run by the Ansarullah movement in Sana’a, 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 regarding what was said in Ma’rib today or what happened regarding the killing of the children of the Republic of Yemen and civilians in all provinces who were targeted by the US and its allies,” al-Houthi added.
Earlier, media outlets close to Hadi said 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, and blamed the Ansarullah movement for the attack.
Two residents told AFP that the petrol station is located about a kilometer from the military base and soldiers often go there with members of their families to refuel their cars.
Al-Houthi said the Defense Ministry “will be obligated to pay compensation" if the investigation finds it guilty.
“We are striving, as are the brothers in the Defense Ministry, to abide by the directives issued by the leader of the [Yemeni] revolution since the first day of the [Saudi-led] aggression, and to respond to the source of fire and do not target civilians as it is stated in Yemeni law,” he added.
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 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.
The war has also destroyed much of Yemen’s infrastructure, caused outbreaks of disease, and brought the poor Arab country to the brink of famine.
In February, the Sana’a government launched an ongoing operation to liberate Ma’rib and its surrounding oil fields. The operation led to intensified Saudi strikes against Yemen, which have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in the impoverished country.
For its part, the Ansarullah movement has repeatedly targeted Saudi positions, including airports and airbases, warning that it will continue the attacks as long as the Saudi war and blockade against Yemen continue.
The Ansarullah movement has also dismissed the so-called peace efforts as meaningless due to Riyadh’s refusal to end its military campaign and siege against the Yemeni people.
Last month, Chief of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Marine General Frank McKenzie promised that the US military would continue its military presence in Saudi Arabia in order to help Riyadh.
“They’re under constant bombardment from Yemen, with a variety of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and small UAS (unmanned aerial systems) they're very concerned about. We want to help them with that,” he said during a visit to the kingdom.