Arab Coalition in Yemen Refutes UN Allegations About Military Operations

The Arab Coalition’s Joint Incident Assessment Team in Yemen has refuted several allegations made by UN agencies, international organizations and media outlets of fatal mistakes made by coalition forces in military operations in the country.

During a press conference at the Armed Forces Officers Club in Riyadh on Tuesday, JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour reviewed the results of investigations into four incidents.

On Feb. 12, 2018, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that three air strikes hit a Ministry of Interior building in the Thahban neighborhood of Bani Al-Harith directorate in the capital Sana’a on Feb. 4, killing eight civilians, including a woman and a child, and injuring 32. It also stated that UN human-rights monitors who visited the scene reported that there did not appear to be any military targets near the building, which was also attacked in 2016.

During its investigation into the incident, JIAT reviewed all documents, including procedures and rules of engagement, daily mission schedules, post-mission reports, video footage of the mission, satellite images, and the provisions and principles of international humanitarian law.

It concluded that coalition forces received intelligence indicating that Houthi armed militias had seized the General Department of Criminal Evidence and were using it as a weapons depot to support their operations, making it a legitimate military target.

JIAT said that intelligence reports had revealed the establishment of an armed checkpoint by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias on a road near the building to prevent civilians from approaching and entering it.