Arab coalition cleared of rights violations in Yemen

Mansour Al-Mansour, spokesman of the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) of the Arab coalition for Yemen, addresses a press conference in Riyadh. (Supplied)
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Updated 09 July 2020

Arab coalition cleared of rights violations in Yemen

  • JIAT reiterates its commitment of transparency while presenting its findings

RIYADH: The Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) of the Arab coalition for Yemen has investigated four cases that were reported in the media. It found that the rules of engagement had been followed by the coalition for Yemen in each case.
The JIAT reiterated its commitment of transparency while presenting its findings in the submitted cases, and it revealed details in a professional and fact-based way.
Addressing a press conference in Riyadh on Wednesday, JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said: “In one case, it was claimed that a military vehicle of the Houthi militia was targeted in front of a restaurant in Zabid, Hodeidah governorate, on Jan. 3, 2018.”
He said the JIAT investigated the incident and reviewed all documents, including procedures and rules of engagement, daily mission schedule, after-mission report, satellite images, provisions and the principles of International humanitarian law and its customary rules, as well as an assessment of evidence. It found that on the alleged date, the coalition forces did not carry out any aerial missions in Zabid, and that the nearest military target that was hit by the coalition on the date of the claim was in Al-Khokhah directorate, about 41 km away from Zabid.
Referring to another case, he said it was claimed that coalition forces had targeted the Mothalath Ahim market in Hajjah governorate on July 4, 2015.

FOURCASES

• In one case, it was claimed that a military vehicle of the Houthi militia was targeted in front of a restaurant in Zabid, Hodeidah governorate, on Jan. 3, 2018.

• In second case, it was claimed that coalition forces had targeted the Mothalath Ahim market in Hajjah governorate on July 4, 2015.

• In third case, it was claimed that the coalition forces had targeted a house in Talan, Kushar, directorate of Hajjah governorate on March 10, 2019.

• In fourth case, it was claimed that a house was targeted in Midi directorate of (Hajjah) governorate on April 22, 2018.

The JIAT investigated the incident and found that Mothalath Ahim, which is 16 km from the international borders of Saudi Arabia, was at the time of the military operation under the control of the Houthi armed militia and the former president’s forces.
Intelligence reports confirmed the discovery of a ballistic missile inside a hangar in a semi-isolated location. There were gatherings of Houthi armed militia and the former president’s forces, and military vehicles at Mothalath Ahim, which was considered a legitimate military target, based on Article 52, Paragraph 2 of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. Moreover, the coalition forces took all feasible precautions by studying and defining the target’s environment, using a guided bomb that was commensurate with the target, and minimizing collateral damage while achieving the desired military advantage of the military based on Rule No. 17 of the customary international humanitarian law.
In another case it was claimed that the coalition forces had targeted a house in Talan, Kushar, directorate of Hajjah governorate on March 10, 2019.
Al-Mansour said the coalition forces units had detected through reconnaissance a vehicle carrying Houthi armed militia fighters. It was confirmed by ground elements that the fighters got out of that vehicle and entered a building in Jabal Talan, which was considered to be a legitimate military target.
In fourth case, it was claimed that a house was targeted in Midi directorate of (Hajjah) governorate on April 22, 2018.
The JIAT investigated the incident and found that the coalition forces observed gatherings of Houthi militias and a ballistic missile launcher in the area of operations concealed in an isolated area. The coalition forces therefore carried out an air mission against these two targets. The JIAT found that coalition forces had not targeted a civilian house in Midi directorate as alleged.


Saudi Arabia working on coronavirus vaccine with Chinese company

Updated 10 August 2020

Saudi Arabia working on coronavirus vaccine with Chinese company

JEDDAH: The third phase of a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial is to be carried out on at least 5,000 volunteers in Saudi Arabia after clearing mid-stage tests.
In an effort to expedite vaccines against coronavirus, the Ministry of Health announced its preparedness to launch the third phase in health centers across Riyadh, Makkah and Dammam. The clinical trials come as part of a ministry agreement with the Chinese vaccine developing company CanSino.
The findings of the first randomized controlled trial, published in The Lancet, resulted in the vaccine appearing to be safe and inducing a significant immune response in the majority of recipients in the second phase.
The vaccine uses a harmless cold virus, known as adenovirus type-5 (Ad5), to carry genetic material from coronavirus into the body.The volunteers will be over the age of 18.
Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly told a press conference on Sunday that epidemiological analysis had shown a fluctuation in confirmed coronavirus cases, with a slight increase potentially caused by social gatherings during Eid Al-Adha that did not adhere to health protocols.

“These numbers are currently at a slight increase, but they are not a cause of major concern (at the moment) for outbreaks or clusters,” the spokesman said.
Estimates of COVID-19 patients needing critical care have decreased in the past three days and the current curve shows a 5.5 percent decrease in admissions. There are currently 1,816 patients in Saudi Arabia receiving critical care.
The Kingdom recorded 1,428 new cases on Sunday, raising the total number of infections to 288,690 since the beginning of the pandemic.
There were 1,599 new recoveries, raising the total number of recoveries to 252,039. There are currently 33,484 active cases.
Saudi Arabia recorded 37 new fatalities on Sunday, raising the coronavirus death toll to  3,167.
There have been 58,424 polymerase chain reaction tests carried out in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of tests in the Kingdom to over 3.8 million.