No violations conducted by Coalition: Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) in Yemen

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RIYADH – The Spokesman of the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) in Yemen Legal Consultant Mansour Bin Ahmed Al-Mansour stressed that the team abides by transparency in announcing the results of engagement in Yemen.

This came in a press conference Al-Mansour held on Tuesday at King Salman Air Base in Riyadh for assessing several incidents, Saudi Press Agency said Tuesday night.

Al-Mansour reviewed several cases. They included the incident in Bayt Al-Udhri in Arhab in Sanaa governorate, which according to the Red Cross took place on Aug. 23, 2017. The Red Cross said the Coalition carried out three airstrikes against Bayt Al-Udhri village. They said one of the airstrikes hit a building having shops and a hotel where farmers were staying. They said 50 people died and 54 were injured. The Red Cross said the fighters were only two while the rest were civilians, who were selling Qat.

However, JIAT investigations revealed that armed Houthi militiamen were in the building as well as at a checkpoint opposite the building. The armed Houthis took advantage of the building. So they were a legitimate target.

As to the Case No.76 that appeared in the UN High Commission for Human Rights that the Coalition forces carried out an airstrike on 20/09/2016 that hit a civilian’s car in Al-Minsaf Area, Al-Jouf governorate resulting in the death of 15 civilians including 12 children and 3 women and injuring 3 children, the local residents told the High Commission that the victims were on their way to work in their farm.

On investigating, JIAT found out that the Yemeni forces of the legitimate government received intelligence information that an SUV was carrying leading commanders of the Houthi militias. The Coalition air forces monitored the vehicle in coordination with ground sources. On Sept. 20, 2016 and at 9.00 a.m.when the vehicle reached a secluded area, the Coalition Air Forces targeted the vehicle, secondary explosions took place meaning that the vehicle was carrying weapons and ammunition along with the Houthi commanders.

Al-Mansour stressed that the measures taken by the Coalition in targeting the military vehicle were correct as it was a legitimate target.

As to charges of human rights violations by the Coalition during the period from Sept. 2016 until June 2017, the Coalition air force carried out an airstrike on two buildings in Shibam Kaukaban in Al-Mahweet governorate, as there were prominent armed Houthi commanders and forces of the former Yemeni president. They also used the place as a barracks to shelter their armed men.

As to the charges of human rights violations by the Coalition during the period from Sept. 2016 until June 2017 including targeting a house in Al-Mansourah district leading to the death of four people and injury of one child – all members of the Ruwais Al-Ghazali family as mentioned by relatives of the victims, Al-Mansour said after the JIAT investigations, it became clear that the Coalition forces did not carry out any airstrikes on the day the building was hit.

As to the claims that it was an airstrike that took place near the Court building in Camp Al-Suairah district in Maqbanah on 18/05/2017 resulting in 16 deaths and several injured, Al-Mansour said JIAT investigations revealed that there were no air operations in Maqbanah, Taiz governorate, on that date. – SPA


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