No violations conducted by Arab Coalition in Yemen: JIAT

No violations conducted by Arab Coalition in Yemen: JIAT
No violations conducted by Arab Coalition in Yemen: JIAT

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details No violations conducted by Arab Coalition in Yemen: JIAT in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) of the Arab coalition for Yemen has investigated four cases following a number of claims made by global bodies and international organizations on errors allegedly committed by the Coalition Forces to Support Legitimacy in Yemen during their military operations inside Yemen.

Addressing a press conference in Riyadh on Wednesday, JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour refuted all the claims as he presented the results of the assessment made by investigators after reviewing documents and the provisions and principles of international humanitarian law.

The documents included procedures and rules of engagement, daily mission schedule, after mission report, and satellite images.

Al-Mansour said that in one case it was claimed that an airstrike hit near a hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the Abs city of Hajjah governorate on Nov. 21, 2017, causing panic for patients and impeding the provision of medical care to patients.

He said that the JIAT vetted the incident and found that the Arab Coalition forces received intelligence information from ground sources inside Yemen about the presence of Al-Houthi armed militia in a specific location in the city.

He added that at 8:30 a.m. on the said date, the Coalition forces carried out an air mission against a military target consisting of fighting elements gatherings of Al-Houthi armed militia, using one guided bomb that hit the target. By studying the documents related to the information from the MSF memo, and the documents held by the Coalition Forces, the JIAT found that the hospital is located in the north of the city and it is listed in the forces’ No Strike List (NSL).

By analyzing satellite images of the claim sites and the location of the military target after the date of the claim, it was found that the military target was in a semi-isolated area from the buildings and the hospital while the said hospital is located 920 meters away from the target, which is considered a safe distance outside the range of the collateral damage.

It was also found out that there were no signs of damages to the hospital building as well as the buildings adjacent to the hospital. In fact, the buildings between the hospital and the targeted site were not affected by the strike.

There was a small hangar at the site mentioned in the claim, and satellite images after the date of the claim showed that it was safe from any damages.

In light of that, the JIAT found that Coalition Forces did not target the claimed location in the city of Abs in Hajjah governorate.

With regard to what was stated in the speech of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions Aug. 15, 2018, that the Coalition forces on May 7, 2018, carried out two airstrikes on the presidential office in Sana'a. According to the claim, the first airstrike directly hit the presidential building, which was located in a densely populated area at the time, after about 7 minutes, another airstrike hit the building, causing additional losses among the paramedics from the first strike, while the exact number of casualties is unknown, at least 6 civilians were reported dead and 90 others were injured.

With regard to what was stated in the (Billing Cat) website report no. (SAN 10017) issued on Nov. 2, 2019, which states that late in the morning of May 7, 2018, two airstrikes hit a government building located in the central Tahreer area in Yemen’s capital, munitions were used in quick succession on the building, it is important to note that the presidential palace, or presidential complex, is a large and relatively isolated building and targeting it is likely not to risk a large number of civilian casualties.

The JIAT found that the strikes were carried out based on intelligence information that prominent leaders and members of Al- Houthi armed militia were planning to be present on the attack in the presidential office building in Sana'a, which was seized by Al-Houthi armed militia to hold meetings of prominent leaders and elements of Al-Houthi armed militia to plan combat operations.

It effectively becomes a high-value legitimate military target that the destruction of it would achieve military advantage, based on rules of the Geneva Conventions and the customary International Humanitarian Law.

The availability of degrees of verification for this mission was available through the intensification of monitoring operations by ground sources, which confirmed the presence of prominent leaders and elements of Al-Houthi armed militia inside the eastern part of the presidential office building in Sana'a before the attack.

On May 7, 2018, at 9:55 a.m., the Coalition forces carried out an air mission on a target consisting of gatherings of prominent leaders and elements of Al-Houthi armed militia in the presidential office building in Sana'a, using two precision-guided bombs.

The Coalition forces had taken all possible precautions to protect civilian objects and reduce collateral damage to a minimum, to achieve the principle of proportionality in choosing the means and methods of warfare, and to achieve the desired military advantage in accordance with rules of the Geneva Conventions and the customary International Humanitarian Law.

Reports confirmed that Abdulhakim Al-Mawri, the minister of interior of Al-Houthi armed militia, one of the leaders present in the building, was injured in this operation, and was transferred to Lebanon for treatment and died later. Reports also confirmed that Mahdi Hassan Al-Mashat, head of the Supreme Political Council of Al-Houthi armed militia, and four other leaders were injured, in addition to the killing and injuring of many members of Al-Houthi armed militia present at the targeted site.

By analyzing the satellite images of the military targeted site, the presidential office building, the JIAT found the traces of airstrike on the eastern part of the presidential office building but no traces of the strike were found on the buildings adjacent to the military target.

By studying the targeting videos, the JIAT found that the targeting pod was pointing directed to the eastern part of the presidential office building. The first bomb fell on the eastern part of the presidential office building and was a direct hit and the second bomb fell on the same place as the first bomb and it was also a direct hit. It was also found that there were no civilians and vehicle movements around the presidential office building before and during the strike.

There were also no ambulances and paramedics in the claimed sight after the first strike, and before and during the second strike.

By analyzing the videos and reports that were published in the media and open sources, the JIAT found that the civilian vehicles parked next to the presidential office building on the northern side were damaged as a result of the air blast.

However, some of those vehicles parked next to the presidential office building carrying pictures of Al-Houthi armed militia leaders.

In light of that, the JIAT reached the conclusion the procedures taken by the Coalition forces, in dealing with the legitimate military target were correct and in accordance with the International Humanitarian Law and its customary rules.

The JIAT also opined that it is appropriate for the Coalition states to provide assistance, as a result of the damage to some parked vehicles next to the fence of the presidential office building caused by the air blast.

In the third case that was reported by the Human Rights Watch in its November 2015 issues entitled “What is the military objective in my brother’s house,” claiming that on July 12, 2015, at about 00:30 a.m., an airstrike killed 23 persons from one family, including seven women and 14 children, in Al-Ummal neighborhood in Sawan area in Sana'a.

According to the HRW report, the airstrike also wounded 31 people. The HRW inspected the site on July 20, 2015, and reported that the explosion resulted in the destruction of 10 small single-story houses and damaging 50 other buildings. The Amnesty International photographed the remains of the control and guidance wings of a laser-guided bomb at the site of the attack.

The JIAT found that before midnight of July 12, 2015, and early morning of July 13, 2015, the Coalition forces carried out two air missions on military targets inside an army base consisting of weapons depots. On July 12 night at 23:55, an airstrike was carried out on a military target consisting of two weapons depots on a specific point inside a military base in the city of Sana'a, precision-guided bombs.

On July 13 at 00:30 a.m., an air raid was carried out on a military target consisting of 2 weapons depots on a specific point inside a military base in the city of Sana'a, using two precision-guided bombs, the first bomb hit its target, but the second bomb did not hit its target.

By analyzing satellite images of the targeting site of the air mission executed on military targets after the date of the claim, the following was found that the military target is located inside a military base in the capital at a distance of 1.3 km from the claimed location. Traces of aerial targeting were found on three weapon depots while no traces of aerial strikes were found on the fourth weapon depots.

By analyzing satellite images of the claimed site in the Sawan area, after the date of the claim, it was found that the coordinate issued by the claimed authority is located on vacant land free of buildings. A number of buildings were damaged approximately 100 meters away from the claimed location.

By studying and evaluating the after-mission report carried out on July 12, 2015, at 23:55, on the two military targets, it was found that the two bombs fell on the two specified targets (weapons depots) and was a direct hit.

By analyzing the video recordings of the air mission carried out on the two military targets on July 12, 2015, at 23:55, it was found that reconnaissance of the target area before executing the first mission and identifying the target by the executing air formation.

The two bombs fell on the two targets specified for the first mission (two weapons depots) as planned.

By studying and evaluating the after-mission report carried out on July 13, 2015, at 00:30, on the military targets (2 weapon depots), it was found that the first bomb hit the specified target and was a direct hit while the second bomb did not hit the specified target as a result of a defect in the bomb. The aircrew could not identify the second bomb fell on the specified target.

By looking at open sources and published reports on the incident, it was found that the picture attached to the HRW report of the claimed site is identical in terms of description and location to the location of the prosecution contained in the open sources in Al-Ummal neighborhood in Sawan area in the capital Sana'a.

In a TV report about the incident, it was found that a building and a number of neighboring buildings were damaged in Al-Ummal neighborhood in Sawan area in the capital Sana'a, and was the same building attached to the HRW report, for the claimed site.

The timing of the incident reported in open sources was after midnight on July 13, 2015, which is close to the time of the military operation carried out on the said date.

In light of that, the JIAT reached the conclusion that the procedures taken by Coalition forces in dealing with the legitimate military target (weapons depots) were correct and in accordance with the International Humanitarian Law and its customary rules.

The JIAT believes that it is most likely the fourth bomb that did not hit the specified target (weapons depot) due to a defect in the bomb itself.

The JAIT recommends that it is appropriate for the Coalition states to provide assistance for human and material losses, that occurred due to the possibility of one of the bombs falling on Al-Ummal neighborhood in Sawan area in the capital Sana'a of the claim, as a result of a bomb defect.

The Coalition Forces will study the reasons why the bomb did not fall on the specific military target and put in place measures to prevent this from happening in the future.

Regarding what was stated in the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) memo that at 15:49 local time on April 5, 2018, an MSF plane with its crew was preparing to take-off from the Sana'a airport, and the Coalition was aware of the presence of the plane at the airport and had given permission to take-off, meanwhile, explosions occurred at the western border of Sana'a airport, and thus the crew decided to speed up the take-off, fearing more explosions at or near the airport and to ensure departure.

The JIAT found that on the date of the claim at 11:40 a.m., the Coalition forces had carried out an air mission against a military target about 3.5 km away from Sana'a airport, using precision-guided bombs that hit their targets.

It was also found that the military target was located in an isolated area, 3.5 km from the Sana'a airport. Traces of air targeting on the military target while no other traces of airstrike were found except for the one mentioned above.

By studying the data related to the claim and analyzing the facts, JIAT reached the conclusion that the MSF plane was issued a permit to take-off and landing from the Sana'a airport on April 5, 2018, during the period from 13:00 to 18:00 local time while the strike time was at 11:40 a.m. on the said date. There was more than a 4-hour difference between the timing of the explosions mentioned in the claim and the mission carried out by the Coalition forces.

It was found out that the timing of the air mission carried out by the Coalition forces was sufficiently long before the time of the authorization granted to MSF, to ensure that the flight of the organization's plane was not disrupted.

The Coalition Forces did not carry out any other air missions on the city of Sana'a on the date stated in the claim.

In light of that, the JIAT found that the Coalition forces were not responsible for the explosions that occurred on the western border of Sana'a airport at 15:49 local time as claimed.


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