JIAT confirms soundness of procedures followed by coalition forces in targeting operations
Spokesperson of Joint Incident Assessment Team Mansour Al-Mansour this evening confirmed the soundness of the procedures followed by the Coalition Forces in the targeting operations and that they are consistent with international humanitarian law and its customary rules.
During a press conference held at King Salman Airbase in Riyadh, Al-Mansour explained that the final findings of JIAT regarding the allegations received from the international governmental and non-governmental organizations were based on the existing evaluation methodology of JIAT and on the standards and principles governing the system of humanitarian International law, the rules of engagement of the coalition forces and the extent of adherence of coalition forces.
He noted that JIAT had requested some recent incidents during the military operations in Yemen, especially the wedding incident in the Bani Qais area in Hajjah province on the basis of statements made by international organizations and what was circulated in public opinion media. Those concerned in JIAT were asked to initiate verification procedures of the occurrence of the incident as directed by the head of JIAT.
Al-Mansour reviewed nine cases, the first of which was the 62nd according to the sequence adopted by JIAT. A Human Rights Watch report in November 2015 by alleged that on 11 April 2015, at about 11:45 am, a plane dropped two bombs near the headquarters of the Ministry of Education in the area of Amran, the first bomb hit a three-story building where three families lived twenty meters from the Ministry of Education compound in the area of Amran, which led to the death of four members of this family and injuring another person. The second bomb also caused a hole near the road near this compound.
He pointed out that based on the procedures followed by JIAT in the subject of verification procedures after JIAT saw all documents related to this incident and the assessment of the evidence, JIAT found that on Saturday at 12:30 pm on 11 April 2015, the Coalition Forces carried out an air mission on the city of Amran on brigade 310 barracks which is about 1360 meters away from the house. In this military mission, guided bombs were used and they all hit their targets.
Al-Mansour reviewed photographs showing the headquarters of the Ministry of Education compound in Amran, where the distance was 1360 meters between the military target targeted by the coalition forces and the location which was claimed to have been bombed, pointing out that the site of the building is closer twenty meters to this compound, and the site of the Ministry of Education compound did not suffer any damage in the report.
He said that by looking at the picture of the house attached to the claim, JIAT found that there were no traces of aerial bombardment. The aerial pictures show that the roof of the house was not damaged by a projectile coming from above and the soundness of the procedures followed by the coalition forces in targeting brigade 310 barracks and that they conform to international humanitarian law and its customary rules.
Regarding case No. 63 in which a claim was filed at Human Rights Watch, accusing the Coalition Forces to have on January 16, 2016 shelled Blue Farm plant which produces medical capsules and tablets, damaging the administration building, including the store and laboratory, but no human injuries, the joint assessment team found that the Coalition air forces have launched an air strike four hours before against a military target north of Sanaa, at 13 kilometers away from the suspected site. According to the team's findings, only one bomb was fired against the target and that the Coalition forces have not attacked that site in question.
As for the case No. 64, Al-Mansur quoted an annual report issued by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as saying that on 13 September 2017, the Coalition forces have attacked on 17 May 2017 a vehicle carrying civilians in Al-Wazaeya directorate, Taiz province, killing 16 civilians among them two women and four children and injuring ten others.
Verifying the claim, the incidents assessment team found that the Coalition forces have at the same time attacked a military target according to the humanitarian international law and norms and never a civilian target.
With regard to case No. 65, the Spokesperson stated that in the annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued on 13 September 2017, the Coalition forces conducted air strikes in the Al-Khamis area of the Al-Khamis Directorate in Sana'a on 1 July 2017 led to killing 9 civilians, including 5 children, and wounding 4 other civilians and based on the procedures taken by the team, the team found that the first air strike was a school and after a few minutes later another air strike hit one of the mosques 50 meters away from the school and about an hour later, an air raid hit a vehicle transporting civilians according to the allegation and based on the procedures taken by the team, they showed that the coalition forces did not carry out any air missions at the date of the allegation in the Directorate of Arhab north of the capital Sana'a and therefore no civilian targets were targeted and according to the procedures followed by on the allegation's day and after it, there were no air missions by the coalition forces in the Arhab Directorate in Sana'a, and coalition forces did not carry out air strikes in the Al-Khamis area in the Directorate of Arhab in Sana'a on January 6, 2017.
With regard to the case 66, the annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, dated 4 August 2016, stated that, on 09/07/2015, coalition forces bombed Musab Bin Omair school in the Tibn Directorate of Lahj governorate, killing 10 civilians, including 3 women and two children, pointing out that the Joint Incident Assessment Team verified the incident and after reviewing all relevant documents and evaluating the evidence, the team found that at 11:30 am, the coalition air forces carried out an air mission against two targets, two of which were armed Houthi militia groups in the province of Lahj, the first target was a building away from the location of the coordinates of the allegation, namely Musab Bin Omair school 1870 meters. The second is a building located on the coordinates of the allegation 2230 meters away from the school. He added that after viewing the videos of the tasks performed, the team found that the hitting was accurate and direct on the two military targets, as shown to the team after viewing the satellite images on June 8, 2016 that there are no traces of destruction or damage to the school, and according to data reviewed it was proven that the coalition forces did not bomb Musab bin Omair school in Lahj Governorate on 09/07/2015 and that the actions taken against legitimate military targets are compatible with the international humanitarian law and its customary rules.
Regarding case No. 67 according to the annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued on 04/08/ 2016/ that on September 13, 2015, the archaeological site of Barakish was subjected to an air strike by coalition forces.
Al-Mansour stated according to the team's confirmation based on the internal procedures to verify the incident after reviewing all the documents related to it and assessment of the evidences, it was clear that around 10:59 p.m. on April 13, 2015, coalition forces carried out an air mission on a target, that was a building where the armed Houthi militias were hiding, 66 km away from the archaeological site of Barakish in Al-Jawf Governorate the matter of allegation, through which it was proven to the team according to the following procedures of reviewing the daily tasks of air operations on 12/9 2015, before and after the date of the allegation, that there were no air missions on the archaeological site, the matter of allegation.
According to the official Spokesperson of the joint team for the assessment of incidents in Yemen, the legal adviser Mansour Al-Mansour said that in case No. 68, the annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued on 04/08/2016, that on 13/10/2015, six citizens were killed including three children and three women, and wounded 13 others, including 5 children and 8 women, as a result of air strikes by the coalition forces on the neighborhood of Amisi in the city of Khokha in the province of Hodeidah, causing various damage to 96 houses, indicating that the joint team to verify the occurrence of this incident, and after reviewing all the relevant documents through the process the evidence shows the following facts, based on intelligence received by the coalition forces about the presence of senior leaders of the Republican Guard loyal to the former president inside a building in a semi-isolated area of population in the city of Khokha in the province of Hodeidah, where the number of 2 armed crews in this yard of this building, with a tight guard of the Republican Guard on this building, and through the coalition air forces at 5:30 am on 13/10/2015 carried out an air mission on the building using a single directed bomb that hit the target.
Al-Mansour said: "By reviewing the daily tasks of the air operations carried out on 12/10/2015 before the date of the claim and the daily tasks of the air operations carried out on 14/10/1401 after the date of the claim and it was proven to the team that there were no air missions on the neighborhood of Amisi Directorate of Al-Khokha in Hodeidah Governorate, and through the view of the satellite images on 16/01/2016 AD of the site of the allegation, it was found that there were no traces or damage to the alleged site , as the team found that the coalition forces did not carry out any air operations on Al-Amisi neighborhood in Al-Khokha directorate, and the soundness of the actions taken by coalition forces in dealing with the target which is in conformity with international humanitarian law and its customary rules.
The Spokesman for the Joint Accident Assessment Team in Yemen referred to the case No. 69, which stated that the annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued on 04/08/2016, that on 22/09/2015, four continuous air raids on Al- Wazir School in the Directorate of Bani Hashim in Sana'a led to killing 3 people, including a woman and child, the family of a teacher and found no evidence that the school was used for any military purposes, saying, that through the verification procedures carried out by the team after all the documents and evaluation evidence show that at approximately 08:00 AM on 22 September 2015, the air coalition carried out an air mission on the target of a building in which there are a number of leaders of the armed militia of Houthi and this building is located at a distance of 1070 meters from Al-Wazir school, and the joint team saw the targeted place where these leaders are located, it showed that hitting of the building was accurate and direct.
By seeing the satellite images on 30/12/2015, it was proven to the team that the coalition forces did not bomb the Al-Wazir School in Bani Hashim Directorate in Sana'a and soundness of the actions taken by coalition forces in dealing with the legitimate military target and consistent with the international humanitarian law.
In the case of No. 70, the annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 04/08/2016 stated that on 19/09/2015 an attack by the Coalition Forces took place on Al-Falhi neighborhood in old Sana'a, which caused damage to the site, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and based on the actions taken by the concerned parties in the team to verify the occurrence of this incident, and after reviewing all the documents related to them, we find the following facts, the old city of Sana'a was on the list of sites prohibited to target by the coalition forces being from prohibited sites targeted, and the coalition forces at 3:45 am, carried out an air mission on a target of weapons storage depots located in the city of Sana'a and located 4 km away from Al-Falhi neighborhood in the old city of Sana'a and in the video footage of the mission, the joint team proved that the bombs hit the target (stores and warehouses of weapons) was accurate and direct, and it became clear to the team through the view of the satellite images of the site claimed on 02/11/2015 that there are no traces of destruction or damage to the alleged, effects or damage to the existing buildings in this neighborhood, and through the previous data proved to the joint team that the coalition forces did not bomb the neighborhood of Al-Fallhi in old Sana'a on the date of allegation, and the actions taken by the coalition forces in dealing with the military target are in accordance with international humanitarian law and customary rules.