ممثلية المملكة العربية السعودية في المملكة المتحدة United Kingdom The Embassy Embassy News JOINT INCIDENTS ASSESSMENT TEAM (JIAT) CONCLUSIONS JOINT INCIDENTS ASSESSMENT TEAM (JIAT) CONCLUSIONS Last updated: 8/5/2016 8:56 PM Page Image Image Caption Page ContentJOINT INCIDENTS ASSESSMENT TEAM (JIAT) CONCLUSIONS Briefing of the Joint Team to assess the incidents at Haidan HospitalAccording to the claims of Doctors Without Borders, the Haiden Hospital in Saada Province was bombed by the coalition forces. The Joint Team found that after reviewing the facts based on accurate intelligence information given to the coalition forces, there was a military gathering of Houthi militia in the Directorate of Haiden. A warplane was ordered to strike the military gathering.After verification of the incident from the Joint Incidents Assessment Team, it became clear that the building was a medical facility which armed Houthi Militia were using as a military shelter in contravention of international humanitarian law under article 52, paragraph 2, annex Protocol I. This therefore made it a legitimate target after warning the persons in charge under article 19 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.The team has confirmed that the coalition forces were unable to warn Doctors without Borders because of the immediate threat posed by the armed Houthi militia using the medical facility located on the borders of the Kingdom.Although the coalition bombed the installations as a military target, it acknowledges that it should have warned Doctors without Borders that they would lose their international protection before carrying out the air strike. However the Houthi militia had already fled the building, which was empty – there were no medical staff and no patients at the facility. There were no casualties.Briefing of the Joint Team to assess the incidents at Mocha’s complexReference is made to the allegations made by Human Rights Watch that the coalition forces bombed a compound in the Directorate of Mocha, Taiz governorate, resulting in the deaths of 65 civilians. The Joint Team found, after reviewing the intelligence information, that there were four targets in the areas controlled by Houthi militia and forces of the former President Ali Abdallah Saleh. These included coastal defence missiles, which pose an immediate danger to ships, and the coalition’s navy in the Red Sea. It was found later that a residential compound was targeted due to an inadvertent error based on inaccurate information from the source. The Joint Team has informed the coalition forces about these findings and they have expressed their regret at this unintentional error.The coalition forces are committed to observing the rules laid down in international conventions on humanitarian law and in particular not directly targeting civilians during military operations and take all measures to preserve their safety and lives. The coalition has given its assurances that it will make every effort to avoid such accidents.The coalition confirmed its readiness to make financial reparation to the victims’ families in accordance with international law once the supporting documentation has been submitted to the Reparation Commission. Briefing of the Joint Team to assess the incidents concerning the mobile clinic of Doctors without Borders in Taiz Reference is made to the claims of Doctors Without Borders regarding the bombing of their mobile clinic in Taiz by the coalition forces. The Joint Team found that the coalition forces targeted hostile militant gatherings at the request of Yemeni forces loyal to the legitimate government and popular resistance in Directorate of Hoban/Taiz Province. This is considered as a militarily high-priority target whose destruction would deliver military advantage. The tent of the Doctors Without Borders organization was not bombed, but was affected by the occasional bombing due to its proximity to the target. There were no civilian casualties. The coalition forces expressed its regrets about this unintentional error. The Joint Team has established that the clinic was not a direct target and Doctors Without Borders should have set up their facility away from military targets so that it avoids the risk of becoming a casualty. The Joint Team has also established that the coalition liaises with the humanitarian organisations, working with them to assist in the completion of their humanitarian missions. The coalition coordinates with these organisations to avoid the occurrence of such incidents. The Joint Team is satisfied that all safety procedures implemented by the coalition forces were observed and they adhered to international humanitarian law. Briefing of the Joint Team to assess the incident at Naham Market Reference is made to the statement by the UN Secretary General that 32 were killed and 41 civilians were injured in a market in the Directorate of Naham due to an air strike by the coalition forces. The Joint Team found after reviewing the facts that one of the coalition’s warplanes was on a humanitarian mission close to the Popular Resistance and the army loyal to the legitimate government. It observed two heavily armed transport vehicles and armed Houthi militia stopped near a small market beside small buildings and canvas tents on a road linking the Directorate of Naham with the capital Sanaa. These transport vehicles and Houthi militia were considered to be militarily as high-value targets and a laser-guided missile was deployed. The Joint Team found that the target was in an uninhabited desert and it was a supply point under Houthi militia control, and immediate action was required. The Joint Team also found that after reviewing the camera records there were seven people in this location, which refutes the allegation that 73 people were killed or injured. The Joint Team has concluded that no error has been made by the coalition in the direct targeting of civilians and is satisfied that all safety procedures implemented by the coalition forces were observed and they adhered to international humanitarian law specifically in direct attacks on civilians. Statement of the Joint Team for Investigating IncidentsRe: Khamis Mustaba’a Market Reference is made to the allegation by the United Nations Information Centre that the coalition forces have bombed the Khamis Mustaba’a Market and caused the death of 106 civilians. The investigating team has reviewed the facts and found that the coalition forces identified a military target after receiving highly credible, accurate and verified intelligence reports. The airstrike took place on the morning of Tuesday 15 March 2016 (6/6/1437H). This military target comprised huge numbers of armed Houthi rebels, which were situated 34 Kilometres away from the Saudi border. This target was recognised to be a highly valuable and legitimate military target, lying near one of the weekly markets. It must be emphasised that this market is only open on Thursdays. It is further emphasised that the military operation occurred on a Tuesday as mentioned above. The UN Information Centre has not provided any credible information to indicate that there were any civilian casualties. Therefore, the investigating team has come to the conclusion that the coalition forces have not committed any errors in this operation, and The coalition forces have respected international humanitarian rules. Statement of the Joint Team of Investigating IncidentsRe: Targeting a wedding party in Dhamar Governorate Reference is made to the allegation of the Special Rapporteur (for cases of extra-judicial execution or summary execution and arbitrary execution) that the coalition forces have launched an air raid resulting in the death of 47 civilians and wounding of 58 others including women and children, while attending a wedding party in the Dhamar governorate on 6/10/ 2015. After reviewing the facts and the Air Force activity records, the Joint Team has concluded that no military target was bombed in Dhamar governorate on that particular date. However, the team has paid great attention to checking the veracity of the claim for humanitarian reasons and also to avoid any confusion, and concluded that there was an air raid launched on that area – but on 7/10/2015 - on the road connecting Dhamar-Rida’a to Al Bayda’a. This raid targeted specifically a camp of armed vehicles on that asphalt road, and there was no targeting of any civilian centres. The coalition forces go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties. The Joint Team is satisfied that all safety procedures implemented by the coalition forces were observed and they adhered to international humanitarian law concerning direct attacks on civilians not taking part in armed conflict – as well as taking all measures to preserving their safety and lives. Statement of the Joint Team for Investigation of incidentsRe: Targeting Four Trucks of World Food Program Reference is made to the claim by the Executive Director of the UN World Food Program that four trucks loaded with food products, belonging to the program, were targeted by warplanes of the coalition forces on 9 November 2015 at 22.00hrs in the district of Harib, in the Ma’rib governorate - which resulted in wounding of four drivers and the destruction of two vehicles and the partial destruction of the other two. After reviewing the facts, the Joint Team has concluded that the targeting of the afore mentioned trucks was based on intelligence reports, which stated that there was an operation underway by the Houthi rebels and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdallah Saleh, involving moving trucks carrying rockets – with the aim of targeting the coalition bases as well as forces loyal to the legitimate Yemeni government in the Ma’rib governorate, and would have posed an imminent and grave danger; noting that this area is considered a major supply route for the Houthi armed militia. Furthermore, The Joint Team has exhausted all the facts and evidence to come to the conclusion that the afore mentioned trucks were in fact a convoy of World Food Program, and the coalition forces were not informed of any operations by the officials of the Program or in receipt of any memos to indicate the dates and timings of the movement of that convoy. This omission is considered a breach of international agreements. Moreover, the Joint Team has found that these trucks were not using the international protection signs, which would made them clearer to identify as belonging to WFP before carrying out the airstrike. Accordingly, the coalition forces expressed their deep regret to the Joint Team for this unintentional mistake, and assured its strict adherence to the recognised rules specified in the international agreements related to international humanitarian law – which relates to avoiding the targeting of humanitarian aid convoys and assisting in relief efforts in armed conflict areas, in order to mitigate the woes of war on civilians not taking part in fighting. Moreover, The coalition forces stress their intention of communicating with humanitarian relief organisations with the aim of boosting their humanitarian efforts as well as coordinating with them in order to avoid causing such mistakes in the future. The Joint Team has concluded that the targeting was caused by the absence of coordination on the part of WPF directly with the relevant authorities in the coalition forces command. Statement of the Joint Team for Investigation of accidentsRe: Shrapnel gravitating towards the area of The Republican Hospital in Sa’da Governorate Reference is made to the claim by Doctors Without Borders organisation that the perimeter of the Republican Hospital in Sa’da was hit by flying shrapnel - as a result of air bombardments. After reviewing the evidence, the Joint Team has found that coalition forces command has targeted with laser guided bombs (precision weapons) the same area where there were a number of weapons and ammunition dumps used by the Houthi armed militias. These were located some 1300 meters from the afore mentioned hospital. It is clear that there was no direct targeting of this hospital or any civilian areas surrounding the military dump. Moreover, the recorded aerial video clips of this operation clearly show that there was no damage inflicted on any buildings or civilian areas nearby – whether directly or indirectly. In addition, the coalition forces knew already that the Republican Hospital lies in this particular area and was on the prohibited targets list – as it is a medical facility protected by international agreements; and is obliged to avoid targeting it while preparing and planning for any military operation. The Joint Team has concluded that there was no mistake committed by the coalition forces in this operation, and they are committed to international humanitarian law – which stipulates the protection of medical facilities.