Official Spokesman of Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) Issues Statement

Tuesday 1438/3/7 - 2016/12/06
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Riyadh, Rabi'I 7, 1438, Dec 6, 2016, SPA -- The official media spokesman of Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) Mansour Ahmad Al-Mansour, legal adviser, stressed that, with regard to an announcement issued by Doctors Without Borders through its official website on the alleged bombing carried out by the coalition forces on Abs Hospital in the Yemeni city of Abs in the province of Hjjah dated on 15/08/2016, which resulted in killing seven people and injuring 13 others, the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) verified facts and circumstances of the incident based on confirmed intelligence information about existence of a gathering of Houthi armed leaders in the north of the city of Abs. The coalition forces targeted the location of that gathering. As a result, the air crew monitored a moving vehicle from the same targeted site heading southwards, pursued and shelled it immediately. The vehicle was next to the building which had no signs of a hospital before the bombing. Later, it was proved that it was Abs Hospital.
In a press conference held today at King Salman Airbase for Middle Sector, Al-Mansour said: "in light of what has been viewed from the facts of the incident, the team found that damages of the originally-untargeted building were due to targeting of the vehicle, a legitimate military target, which was next to the building, disclosing that the joint team confirmed that the coalition forces are to apologize for the unintentional error, provide appropriate assistance to those affected, and launch investigation with the persons in charge of the incident to look into whether they have violated the accredited rules of engagement and take appropriate action as regards the incident.
Refuting allegations by the Amnesty International that Asmaa school, located in the city of Al-Mansouriya in the Yemeni province of Al-Hodeida was subject to air shelling on August 24, 2015, the spokesman said that it was revealed that the Coalition Forces have targeted the above-mentioned site based on surveillance information that the armed Houthi militias and forces loyal to former president were using the site as a headquarters and a storage and distribution post for weapons smuggled via Al-Hodeida port, classifying it as a militarily legal target of high value that achieves certified military advantage. Accordingly, and based on the rules of the international humanitarian law, the legal protection supposed to be enjoyed by civilian sites is dropped off this site due to its being used as a tool within the military effort, taking into consideration that the classes of the school have gone at the time on an open vacation in view of the surrounding circumstances in addition to that investigations have not revealed the occurrence of any human losses or injuries, with the building sustaining partial damage estimated at no more than 25%. The joint assessment team has, accordingly, reached the result that the procedures followed by the Coalition Forces targeting the questionable site were intact and correct.
22:31 LOCAL TIME 19:31 GMT