No mistakes in 5 Yemen incidents involving Saudi-led coalition, says review panel

JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour speaks in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 31 July 2018
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No mistakes in 5 Yemen incidents involving Saudi-led coalition, says review panel

  • Based on intelligence, the JIAT found that the pickup truck was carrying Houthi leaders
  • JIAT found that coalition forces did not conduct any air missions on the day of the claim

RIYADH: The Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) said on Tuesday that it had discovered no mistakes in five incidents involving the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen that it reviewed. The review attested that the coalition had acted in accordance with international humanitarian law.
Case 20 concerned a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross that said coalition forces on Aug. 23, 2017, carried out airstrikes in Sanaa governorate. One of the strikes hit a building with shops and a hotel; information indicates (50) were killed and (54) injured.
JIAT found that, based on intelligence information, there was a battalion of Houthi militia in the building and a military checkpoint in front of it operated by the Houthi militia.
“The coalition forces executed an air mission on Aug. 23, 2017, to target the building and the military checkpoint, which are considered legitimate military objectives,” JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said.
Case 76 concerned a High Commissioner for Human Rights report that stated coalition forces carried out an airstrike on a vehicle in Al-Matammah directorate on Sept. 20, 2016, which killed 15 civilians.
Based on intelligence, the JIAT found that the pickup truck was carrying Houthi leaders.
Case 77 stated that on Feb. 14, 2016, two explosions hit Qishla castle. “According to locals, the castle was closed to the public since the beginning of the war because it had been used by the Houthi militia and Saleh forces. The attack did not cause any injuries or deaths of civilians,” Al-Mansour said.
Case 78 said on Feb. 9, 2016, a house in Al-Mansoura area was hit by a missile that killed four people and injured a child.
JIAT found that coalition forces did not conduct any air missions on the day of the claim “as it was freed from the Houthi militias at that time,” Al-Mansour said.
Case 79 concerned an airstrike next to the court building in Maqbanah directorate on May 18, 2017, which killed 16 people.
JIAT reviewed the daily mission schedule for the day of the claim and found that the Saudi-led coalition did not have an air mission on Maqbanah directorate.


‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

Updated 23 March 2019
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‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

  • “First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah” Akon said 
  • He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits at the Asharqiah Music Festival

DAMMAM: American rapper Akon captivated a packed crowd at the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday, opening up the second night of musical festivities at Sharqiah Season with a special shout-out to Saudi Arabia.

“You have no idea, I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi for years, man,” Akon said, before launching into his song, “Gunshot.” Later, he told the crowd: “I’m seeing a tremendous change in Saudi Arabia here tonight."

At 8 p.m., under a bright moon on a beautifully cool night, Akon began his set, delighting fans who had spent over 10 minutes chanting his name in anticipation of his arrival.

He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits, including “Smack That,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Sorry: Blame It On Me.” And he wrapped things up with “I love you, Saudi... thank you for making me feel at home."

Backstage before the concert, Akon told Arab News how excited he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time. He was especially excited to visit one Saudi city in particular.

“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah.”