Saudi Gazette report
Riyadh — The Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) tasked with evaluating the Arab coalition’s actions in Yemen has apologized for an error made during an attack targeting Houthi militia in the Hajjah governorate in Yemen.
The spokesperson for the assessment team, Mansour Al-Monsour, told a press conference here on Sunday that coalition forces were targeting a moving military target when forces inadvertently hit a water bottling factory in Hajjah province on August 30, 2015.
According to the initial data, an air strike was carried out based on confirmed intelligence that indicated the presence of AAA mobile anti-aircraft artillery stored at an estimated distance of 80 meters near the factory.
The bomb that had been used with the intention of targeting the storage facility apparently deviated off its intended route because of weather conditions in the area and fell on the factory instead.
But Al-Monsour found claims that coalition forces targeted a hospital in Al-Hodeida province unfounded. The actual targeted site during the attack in October 2015 was 500 meters from the hospital.
With regard to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) allegation that coalition forces bombed Al-Bayda prison in Al-Bayda governorate on 11/10/2015, which resulted in the killing 10 persons and injuries to 15 others, the JIAT concluded that the coalition forces carried out an aerial interdiction mission of a target used as a prison which was not used in fact as a prison, but rather for the storage of arms and ammunition as well as a positioning and re-grouping place for armed Houthi and ousted Saleh militias. The target was located about 1.6 kilometers away from Al-Bayda city. This target represents a military advantage as a legitimate military objective based on article 52, paragraph 2, of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions.
In light of the above, the JIAT identified the safety of the procedures of the Coalition Forces in dealing with the military objective and is in compliance with the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law.
With regard to the claim submitted in the report of the International Committee of the Red Cross regarding attacking Saada Old City in an air raid on 21/10/2015, the JIAT reviewed merits of the claim and reviewed the reports of records on the claiming day. The coalition forces carried out an aerial reconnaissance on the city of Saada. On the same day, two targets were monitored, the first was a vehicle used for transferring members of the Houthi armed militias 100 meters from the outer wall of the city, and the second target was a building used by Houthi armed militias 600 meters from the outer wall of the city. The two targets were informed by the reconnaissance plane which did not have a permission to target these two targets because Saada Old City is registered on the temporary list of Yemen for the World Heritage.
In light of the above information, the JIAT concluded that coalition forces had not bombed the old city of Saada.