Arab coalition in Yemen refers three airstrike incidents to judicial authorities

Arab coalition in Yemen refers three airstrike incidents to judicial authorities

LONDON (Rahnuma): The Arab coalition fighting to restore the Yemeni government has referred to judicial authorities several cases in which the operations violated international humanitarian law.

The investigative procedures, including documents and evidence, have been sent to coalition member nations to ensure those responsible are held accountable, said coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki.

“The coalition affirms its commitment to the rules and provisions of international humanitarian law and holds violators…accountable in accordance with the regulations of each coalition state,” Al-Maliki added.

The incidents include a strike in August 2016 on a hospital that works with Doctors Without Borders, in which 16 people were killed, and an attack in 2018 on a wedding ceremony in Bani Qayis that left 20 dead. A third incident, also in 2018, involved an airstrike on a bus in Dahyan that killed more than 40 schoolchildren.

The Joint Incident Assessment Team, an investigative body set up by the coalition, has referred 182 cases to judicial authorities and discovered breaches of rules in 22 investigations.

The Arab coalition, which is fighting to restore the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. It has been battling the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen since 2015.

A coalition source said the killing of Iran’s top military commander in a US drone attack in Iraq last month has increased the chances of peace in Yemen. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, had “supported the Houthis with advanced military capabilities” the official said. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have used Yemen as a testing ground for its drones and ballistic missiles, the source added.

The coalition said that the Houthi militia have launched 300 ballistic missiles and shells into Saudi Arabia, killing 116 Saudis and expatriates.

Speaking on Monday during a visit to the UK, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jaber, said there is a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication among the British public about Saudi efforts to support Yemen and restore the country’s government, security and stability.

He said the Kingdom is also supporting Yemen through humanitarian operations, and economic aid and development.

“We would like to explain our facts on the ground to the people of the UK,” Al-Jaber told Arab News.

The ambassador, along with Al-Maliki and delegations from the King Salman Humanitarian and Relief Center and the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen, are visiting the UK to highlight the work of the Kingdom and the coalition in Yemen.

Helen Alderson, from the International Committee of the Red Cross, said the solution to the Yemen conflict must be a political solution.

“We would like to see the fighting stop and for people to be able to go back to their lives, for rehabilitation of the services, the systems and the structures, for them to be able to start working again and for people to go back to normal and peaceful lives,” she said.

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