US military sees greater transparency from Saudi-led coalition

US military sees greater transparency from Saudi-led coalition
An Emirati soldier stands guard out the rear gate of a Chinook military helicopter, escorted by a Blackhawn helicopter, traveling from Saudi Arabia to Yemen, in this Sept. 14, 2015 file photo. (AP)
Updated 14 December 2016

US military sees greater transparency from Saudi-led coalition

US military sees greater transparency from Saudi-led coalition

MANAMA: There has been progress regarding the Saudi-led coalition’s transparency and investigation of claims of civilian casualties in the conflict in Yemen, US Central Command spokesman Col. John J. Thomas told Arab News.
“We encourage investigations of claims of civilian casualties and encourage transparency, and I think we’ve seen progress there,” he said at the end of the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain, which discussed the conflicts in Yemen and Syria, Gulf defense cooperation, and international cooperation against terrorism.
“The more that is understood about such incidents, the better they can be prevented in the future.”
Thomas said Central Command urged all parties to deescalate the conflict in Yemen, exercise restraint, comply with international law and take all precautions to protect civilians.
Central Command also urged all parties to allow aid to the civilian population, including food, medicine and fuel via international relief organizations, he added.
Thomas said military action was sometimes necessary, but long-term stability required diplomatic and political solutions.
“The US coordinates with Saudi Arabia and coalition partners on issues related to their security and shared interests,” said Thomas. “We do not give direct or indirect approval on target selection or execution.”
The US provides “logistical assistance, including aerial refueling, expertise and information about best practices to the Saudis, in defense of Saudi territorial integrity when requested,” he said.
“We work with them to help them be as effective as possible, through training and military advice,” he added.