Spokesman’s remarks come day after Saudi envoy said coalition did not carry out Monday’s attack
NEW YORK – A UN spokesman reiterated Thursday that airstrike that hit a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Yemen was carried out by Saudi-led coalition forces.
“The issue of who controls the skies and who has the air power, I think, is clear for many people to see,” Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.
Dujarric’s remarks came in response to comments by Saudi Arabia’s UN envoy Abdallah al-Mouallimi, who denied that the coalition’s planes had hit the hospital Monday.
“The Arab coalition aircrafts did not carry out operations in Saada at the time of the reported incident. The nearest area of operations was close to the Saudi-Yemeni border about 40 kilometers [25 miles] north of above mentioned hospital,” Mouallimi told a news conference Wednesday.
Mouallimi also criticized a statement released by a UN spokesperson on Tuesday, in which UN chief Ban Ki-moon “condemned the airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition that hit the Hayadeen Medical Hospital.”
“The wise thing to do is to await the results of the investigation,” Muallimi said, adding that he would contact Ban.
Asked whether the UN was sure about who carried out the attack, Dujarric said: “I have nothing to change to the statement that I made.”
According to the MSF, one of its hospitals in northern Yemen had been struck by missiles from coalition jets late Monday. No casualties were reported in the attack.