At least 2 people killed in security operation in Qatif, Saudi Arabia

A house damaged during the operation in Qatif. (Supplied)
Updated 09 January 2019
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At least 2 people killed in security operation in Qatif, Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: At least two people were shot dead and several others arrested in what security sources described as a “pre-emptive” military operation in the village of Al-Jish in Saudi Arabia’s eastern Qatif province, Al Arabiya reported on Tuesday.

The raid on Monday was aimed at detaining a group of people wanted for causing disruption to security and development projects in the area, the sources said. 

The men were offered the opportunity to surrender, but refused, and instead opened fire on security forces. Two suspects were killed in the gunfight. Photographs shared on social media showed houses pockmarked with bullet holes, and an online video showed shots being fired from a military vehicle.

The province of Qatif has previously been a haven for militant elements. However, violence has become rare since security forces largely flushed out the gunmen in a 2017 campaign that damaged much of the town’s old quarter. It has since been renovated.


Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

Updated 17 January 2019
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Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

JEDDAH: The Joint Incident Assessment Team in Yemen (JIAT) has investigated four allegations made by international governmental and non-governmental organizations and media about mistakes made by coalition forces while carrying out military operations inside Yemen.
JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said that the team concluded that the procedures followed by the coalition forces were proper and safe, taking into consideration the rules of engagement, international humanitarian law and the coalition’s own rules.
Team members visited a number of cities in Yemen, including Aden, Lahj and Khor Maksar, during the investigation and spoke to witnesses, victims and their families to gather evidence and establish the facts.
In one of the incidents that was investigated, coalition warship fired on and destroyed a craft in the waters off the Yemeni port of Al-Khokha in September. Al-Mansour said that after examining documents and evidence JIAT had concluded that an alliance ship was escorting and protecting a flotilla of three Saudi merchant ships when, in an area off the port of Al-Khokha, a boat was spotted approaching the convoy at a high speed from the direction of the Yemeni coast.
The escort ship followed the accepted rules of engagement by repeatedly warning the unidentified vessel, using loudspeakers, not to come any closer. When these went unheeded, warning shots were fired but the boat continued to approach.
“On reaching an area that represented a threat to the convoy, the protection ship tackled the boat according to the rules of engagement and targeted it, resulting in an explosion on the boat,” said Al-Mansour. “The protection ship continued escorting the convoy. After the escort task was completed, the protection ship returned to the site of the targeted boat to carry out a search-and-rescue operation for the crew of the target boat but no one was found.”