7, October 2015

Military operations in Yemen

Recent allegations claim that war crimes have been committed by the coalition in Yemen as a result of the deliberate targeting of civilians. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia firmly denies these allegations. The coalition has not intentionally bombed civilians and any accusation of such intentions is a false claim spread by those who support the rebels attempting to wreak havoc in Yemen.
The Kingdom-led intervention in Yemen began earlier this year in response to requests for assistance from the internationally recognised Yemeni government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who appealed, in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, to a coalition of ten countries, including Saudi Arabia, to help bring peace to Yemen. Hadi made the appeal because Houthi and Saleh forces had chosen the path of aggression. And while Saudi Arabia has continually stated that the solution to the divide in Yemen is political, these same forces have refused to negotiate.
The airstrikes in Yemen ordered and carried out by the coalition were aimed at the Iran-backed Houthi militia in its northern stronghold of Saada. This militia and its supporters had carried out attacks on Saudi territory. Hence, the Kingdom took action to secure its own self-defense by attacking those who had masterminded an offensive against its homeland.
Prior to the airstrikes, Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri advised all Yemenis to stay away from Houthi strongholds for their own safety. All precautions were taken to avoid the death of civilians. Precision weapons were used on targets identified and scrutinised by a multinational council that meticulously vets target coordinates to ensure that they do not include civilians or non-essential military elements.
The report that contains the allegation of war crimes against the coalition is tragically biased. No attempt is made to explain why the conflict had arisen and no references are made to Houthi actions against civilians. No criticism is made of Houthi and Saleh attacks against Saudi clerics and Yemeni villages and towns or the fact that they have repeatedly blocked crucial humanitarian assistance from reaching the Yemeni people. These biases render the report so deceptive and one-sided as to be useless at best and malicious at worst.
As the coalition seeks to restore the legitimate Yemeni government and free the Yemeni people from a rebel scourge, it will do everything in its power to avoid injuring civilians. The coalition's goal is to simply bring peace and order to Yemen. Any accusation that civilians are being intentionally targeted by the coalition is simply propaganda being disseminated by those who are using Yemen as a staging ground for their violent, revolutionary agenda.