RIYADH, - Mansour Al-Mansour, official spokesman of the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) on Yemen and legal consultant, held a press conference at King Salman Airbase to announce results of the incident assessment in Yemen.
Al-Mansour read the following statement, which was published by the Saudi Press Agency: Regarding the Human Rights Watch's report dated on November, 2015 including that the Coalition Forces launched an air raid on 30, August, 2015 on Sham water filling factory in Hajjah Directorate which resulted in killing 14 laborers and injuring 11 other who were about to finish their night shift and fter reviewing the incident, the JIAT disclosed that, on Monday, 30/8/2015 at 02:30 am and based on intelligence information, a mission of an air support was carried out nearby Hajjah Directorate. The coalition targeted ground defenses which were parked close to the factory. The target was implemented by a laser-guided bomb. Due to weather conditions with existence of some clouds in the target area, the bomb missed the target, falling on the factory's yard, which caused its destruction and some deaths and injuries.
With regard to the above information, the JIAT reached that the coalition air forces targeted a legitimate military target, that's a ground defense. Due to coercive reasons beyond the will, the bomb went off course and fell on the factory unintentionally, he added.
The JIAT urged that coalition forces to apologize this unintentional error and provide assistance to the families of victims.
With regard to the claim in the report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen based on the Security Council's resolution No. 2140, which included that the General Hospital of the Revolution in Hodeidah Province was exposed to collateral damage caused by shelling neighboring areas at 11:30 am on 9, October, 2015 and after having reviewed the report, the JAAT and through other reports, it was found that the Air Coalition Forces had carried out an air interdiction mission on a target used for weapons storage which is located on the western side of Hodeidah. This target is about 500 meters from the General Revolution Hospital in Hodeidah, a safe distance to avoid any incidental damage to civilian objects in the same area taking into consideration that the civilian objects close to the target area were not affected based on aerial photographs before and after the military operation. Therefore, there was no targeting of the hospital or the nearby civilian objects.
In light of the above, the JAAT has identified the safety of the procedures followed by the Coalition Forces in dealing with the military objective in the same area, and concluding that it is compatible with international humanitarian law.
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 killing 10 persons and injuring 15 others, and after having reviewed the records of the Coalition Forcesm, based on confirmed intelligence, the JAAT concluded that the coalition forces have 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 Houthi armed and ousted Saleh militias. The target is 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 JAAT identified the safety of the procedures of the Coalition Forces in dealing with the military objective and is 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 JAAT 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 (Saada). On the same day, two targets were monitored, the first is a vehicle (Jeep) which is used for transferring members of the Houthi armed militias which is away 100 meters from the outer wall of the city, and the second target is a building used by Houthi armed militias away 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 in the temporary list of Yemen for the World Heritage.
In light of the above information, the JIAT reached that coalition forces had not bombed the old city of Saada.
Asked about the purpose of the meeting with the United States officials on incomplete information, and whether there were some difficulties with organizations in Yemen, and how he could overcome these difficulties, the spokesman for the JAAT said: "the meetings that took place with the plaintiffs was based on letters received by the team to provide a viewpoint on the results presented by the team in the previous cases. On this basis, they were asked to meet face to face to clarify the details related to this claim. The team reached the result that has been announced. We asked them whether there was information related to these allegations, the team has no mind to see them. If they are influential to the outcome, we will declare them to the media.
In response to a question about future investigations, what are their results and how will the forces and the joint team deal with their results, and whether there is a follow-up to the proposals proposed by the team, he answered that the legal adviser explained that the team's dealing with the results of the coalition has already been declared as a fact-finding committee and what is written in the detailed report submitted to the concerned authorities in the coalition forces in order to study the reports and take the necessary measurements and proposals.
With regard that the JIAt receives objections from some claimants on the findings of the JIAT investigations and whether, and whether the JIAT was authorized to investigate allegations from any of the claiming organizations regarding violations committed by the Houthi militias, Al-Mansour said: "Concerning allegations and violations committed by the Houthi militias, as far as I know, there are certain United Nations committees dealing with documentation and violations carried out by the Houhti and ousted Saleh armed militias. Concerning objections of the coalition forces to the findings, the spokesman of the Coalition Forces announced that the findings reached by Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) were accepted by the coalition forces.
Source: Emirates News Agency