Saudi coalition refutes ‘biased’ and ‘inaccurate’ UN Yemen report

The Arab coalition said some aspects of the report were incorrect and biased. (SPA)
Updated 30 August 2018
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Saudi coalition refutes ‘biased’ and ‘inaccurate’ UN Yemen report

  • Report ignored the role of Houthis in starting the conflict and their Iran backers
  • UN allegations based on 'misleading reports of some NGOs and media publications'

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition on Wednesday refuted a UN report on Yemen that made a series of accusations against the alliance.

In a strongly worded statement, the coalition, which supports forces loyal to the internationally recognized government, rejected the claim that it did not provide information requested by the UN.

The coalition dismissed as “false” and “inaccurate” claims in the report that its forces were obstructing humanitarian access to civilians in the country.

The statement also said the report, which was published on Tuesday, disregarded the humanitarian role played by the coalition countries in Yemen, including recent donations from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait amounting to $1.8 billion. 

The coalition also accused the panel of experts who drafted the report of bias and ignoring the fact that the conflict started after the Houthi militia seized control of the capital Sanaa in a “coup” in 2014.

The statement said the report also ignored the role played by Iran in supporting the Houthis.

“The coalition countries completely disagree with all the report’s conclusion,” the statement said. “The report had many methodological fallacies, some regarding the description of the conflict’s facts, which lacked objectivity.” 

The coalition said the report’s false allegations that its forces had targeted civilians “were based on misleading reports of some NGOs and media publications.”

“These allegations were included in the report although the coalition countries had already refuted them during their meetings with the UN group of experts,” the statement said.

“The coalition affirms that the group rushed while objectively assessing the human rights situation in Yemen, as well as the inaccuracies in its conclusions and recommendations.”


Anti-Daesh coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria: monitor

Updated 17 November 2018
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Anti-Daesh coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria: monitor

  • Seventeen children were among 36 Daesh family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border
  • Another seven victims had not yet been identified as either civilians or Daesh fighters

BEIRUT: Air strikes by the US-led coalition Saturday killed 43 people, mostly civilians, in a Daesh holdout in eastern Syria, a Britain-based monitor said.
Seventeen children were among 36 Daesh family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Another seven victims had not yet been identified as either civilians or Daesh fighters, it said.
The US-led coalition has been backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to expel the extremists from the pocket around Abu Husn.
"It's the highest death toll in coalition air strikes since the SDF launched its attack against the IS pocket" in September, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The coalition has repeatedly said it does its utmost to prevent civilian casualties.
"The avoidance of civilian casualties is our highest priority when conducting strikes against legitimate military targets with precision munitions," spokesman Sean Ryan told AFP this week.
Daesh overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a "caliphate" in land it controlled.
But the militant group has since lost most of it to various offensives in both countries.
In Syria, the group has seen its presence reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the pocket in Deir Ezzor.
The coalition has since 2014 acknowledged direct responsibility for over 1,100 civilian deaths in Syria and Iraq, but rights groups put the number killed much higher.