Anti-Houthi Yemen coalition forms team to assess rules of engagement

Updated 01 February 2016

Anti-Houthi Yemen coalition forms team to assess rules of engagement

RIYADH: The Saudi-led Arab coalition battling Shiite rebels in Yemen announced Sunday the creation of an independent commission of inquiry to examine charges of possible abuses against civilians in the conflict.
In a brief statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the coalition said it formed “an independent team of experts in international humanitarian law and weapons to assess the incidents and investigate the rules of engagement.”
The coalition said the objective was to “develop a clear and comprehensive report on each incident with the conclusions, lessons learned, recommendations and measures that should be taken” to spare civilians.
A panel of United Nations experts in a report obtained by AFP on Tuesday said the coalition has carried out 119 sorties that violated humanitarian law, and it called for an international commission of inquiry.
The coalition command said it regrets civilian deaths in the country, but asserted that these were "unintended," and was investigating the matter and improving its targeting mechanisms.
Yemen descended into chaos when Iran-backed Houthi militias and loyalists of former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh fought the UN-recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, prompting neighboring Gulf and other Arab countries to intervene.
More than 5,800 people have since been killed and 27,000 wounded, according to UN figures.
About 60 percent of all civilian deaths and injuries were caused by air-launched explosives, the report said.


First plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrives in Lebanon

Updated 42 min 18 sec ago

First plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrives in Lebanon

RIYADH: The first plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrived in Lebanon on Friday for victims of Beirut’s port explosion, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) said.

Two planes departed from King Khalid International Airport on Friday carrying more than 120 tons of medical supplies, tents, shelter kits and food for those affected by the blast. A specialized team from the center to follow up and supervise the distribution operations were also on board the planes.

The aid aims to help victims overcome the effects of the explosion, said Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Advisor to the Royal Court and Supervisor General of KSrelief.

Al-Rabeeah stated that the directive of King Salman embodies the established humanitarian values of the Saudi leadership, stressing that this assistance highlights the pivotal role of Saudi Arabia in providing humanitarian assistance to all people in need around the world with complete impartiality.