The Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) on Wednesday disclosed the findings of its investigations into allegations that bombings by the Arab coalition backing Yemen’s internationally recognized government killed civilians.
The JIAT investigated five claims by international governmental and nongovernmental organizations regarding coalition military operations in Yemen.
Addressing a press conference in Riyadh, JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said the team concluded that the procedures followed by the coalition were proper and safe, taking into consideration the rules of engagement and international humanitarian law.
He said after examining all relevant documents, the JIAT rejected a report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Yemen that on May 22 last year the coalition launched an airstrike on a fishing boat near Tarfah Island, killing four civilians, including a child.
The relevant documents included rules of engagement, daily mission schedules for coalition air and naval operations, and satellite imagery.
The JIAT found that on May 22, the nearest coalition airstrike was 10 km from the island, targeting and directly hitting a Houthi checkpoint.
Regarding the claim of a coalition airstrike 450 meters from the residence of World Food Programme (WFP) staff on July 27 last year in Hodeidah governorate, Al-Mansour said the JIAT found that on that date, the coalition carried out an air operation against military vehicles in an isolated area 18 km from the residence.
The JIAT studied satellite imagery of the alleged location and video of the coalition operation, and saw no destruction or damage to the WFP residence.
Al-Mansour rejected allegations that the coalition targeted a civilian fishing boat off the coast of Hodeidah in April 2017, and bombed a school in Hajjah governorate in October 2015.
Regarding the alleged targeting of a civilian fishing boat, the JIAT found that the coalition did not carry out any operations on that date.
Regarding the alleged school bombing, the JIAT found that the coalition carried out an air operation 73 km away from the school, so the allegation was unfounded.
Regarding the claim that the coalition shelled a sports club in Saada governorate in December 2017, the JIAT found that Houthi militias had seized the club and turned it into a military facility, so it was a legitimate target.