RIYADH: Investigators have cleared a Saudi-led military alliance of alleged human rights violations in Yemen.
The Joint Incident Assessment Team on Monday said it had dismissed claims by human rights organizations and media outlets that the coalition had carried out airstrikes, including one on Sanaa airport in 2020.
The JIAT conducted an inquiry into four allegations of so-called operational misbehavior made against the alliance.
Medical care charity Doctors Without Borders had reported the coalition for what it described as an air mission on Sanaa airport on Dec. 8, 2020. But team spokesman, Mansour Al-Mansour, said that an investigation had concluded that the coalition’s nearest military target on that date was in Amran governorate, 22 kilometers away.
Another claim — made by the Panel of Experts on Yemen in January 2020 — related to an alleged airstrike on a water truck in As Sawadiya district of Al-Bayda governorate in April 2019.
Al-Mansour pointed out that on the day in question, the closest coalition forces had been operating was 158 km away in Sanaa governorate.
The JIAT also exonerated the coalition over an alleged human rights breach relating to a detention center in Saada city, northwest Yemen, reported by the UN secretary-general’s spokesman in January 2022.
The team found that the site targeted had been the Central Security located in Saada, approximately 2,400 meters south of Saada airport.
And separately, Physicians for Human Rights had accused coalition forces of carrying out an airstrike on Al-Karama Hospital in Taiz in March 2020 that resulted in severe damage to the building and the death of a civilian.
JIAT specialists discovered that the hospital was on a coalition list of sites banned from being targeted by its forces and that no air missions had taken place in Taiz governorate on the date.
Al-Mansour noted that the team’s investigations had shown that “procedures were safe, following the rules of international humanitarian laws.”
JIAT officials, he added, had met with relevant military personnel and individuals inside Yemen and field units, and had taken into consideration the rules and values of international humanitarian law in arriving at its conclusions.