[After first Saudi royal excuse-makers expressed outrage to news media–
The Saudi government said Sunday that it would investigate reports that an airstrike hit a packed funeral hall in Yemen’s capital, killing more than 140 people and injuring hundreds.
The Saudis said U.S. experts would assist with the investigation into Saturday’s attack in Sanaa. In a statement the Saudi-led coalition called the bombing “regrettable and painful” and expressed condolences.
The country has been racked by civil war between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and Yemen’s internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
The Saudi-led bombing campaign has presented difficulties for the United States. The Saudi coalition’s air campaign has been plagued by allegations that it has killed civilians by indiscriminate bombing. More than 3,980 civilians were killed and 6,909 injured since the beginning of the war in March 2015, according to the aid group Oxfam.
The U.S. military has provided limited support for the Saudi-led campaign but has stopped short of providing targeting and other direct assistance.
On Saturday, the White House said it was prepared to reduce its support even further in the wake of the recent allegations.
“We are deeply disturbed by reports of today’s airstrike on a funeral hall in Yemen, which, if confirmed, would continue the troubling series of attacks striking Yemeni civilians,” National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement Saturday.
“In light of this and other recent incidents, we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led coalition,” the statement said.
Saturday’s funeral was held for Sheikh Ali al-Rawishan, the father of Galal al-Rawishan, the interior minister in the rebel-led government, the Associated Press reported.
Among those killed was Maj. Gen. Abdul-Qader Hilal, head of the capital’s local council, officials said, while Galal Al-Rishwan was seriously wounded, the AP said.