UAE sergeant dies in Yemen; fighter jet crashes

By Rajive singh

ABU DHABI: The General Command of the UAE Armed Forces announced the martyrdom of serviceman Khalid Ali Gharib Al Beloushi while on duty with the Saudi-led Arab Coalition’s Operation Restoring Hope in Yemen.

The General Command of the UAE Armed Forces offered its condolences to the family of the martyr, praying to Almighty Allah to rest his soul in eternal peace, and bestow solace on his family, said Wam.

The body of martyr Sergeant Khalid Al Baloushi arrived on Saturday at Al Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi, on board a military plane.

On arrival, a special military ceremony was held at the airport to receive the body of the martyr in the presence of a number of senior officers.

Fighter Jet Crash

Meanwhile, the Command of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen said that a Jordanian F-16 fighter jet had crashed due to a technical glitch in Najran’s sector in Saudi territories at 1:45 p.m. on Friday.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, the Command confirmed that the pilot had survived.

Joint Incidents Assessment Team

The Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) , has stressed the safety of procedures implemented by the coalition forces in dealing with the military targets in Yemen in accordance with the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law.

JIAT issued a statement regarding the alleged bombings of the German hospital, Abs prison, the main commercial street in Saada and Alzuruq camp for the displaced people, according to Saudi Press Agency.

With respect to what is stated in the final report of the Yemen Panel of Experts, established by the Security Council Resolution No. (2140) dated on 22/01/2016, that the German Hospital suffered damages in Haradh in Hajjah Governorate as a result of an aerial bombing to target a nearby site to the hospital on 07/07/2015, resulting in damages of the hospital’s generators and parts of the building.

Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) verified the facts and circumstances of the incident and reviewed the reports of the tasks records on the day of the claim. The JIAT disclosed that the Coalition Air Forces dealt with a target which is away about 17 km from the hospital. “This target represents a warehouse of weapons in a farm which is far away about 500 meters from the southern borders of the Kingdom Saudi Arabia making this site as a legitimate military target,” it added.

The JIAT stressed the safety of procedures implemented by the coalition forces in dealing with the military target in the same region on the date of the claim and in accordance with the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law.

On the report of the Human Watch, the team said it has checked the sites of claims of death and casualties, at Eibs Prison, in Khulan, Hajja Governorate, on 30th June 2015, concluding that the Coalition air force has dealt with two targets, both are weaponry depots, by firing a laser guided bomb, at each, on 13th May 2015. “These were two Houthi militia’s targets, henceforth, they are military spots, which we took advantage, military speaking, through targeting them,” JIAT said.

The team stressed that the building of the prison, neither targeted nor affected, at all, by the air bombing committed by the Coalition air force.

Thus, the findings of the team is that: Following counter checking the aforementioned incidents, the procedures and measurements taken by the Coalition were justified, in dealing with military targets, in the area, as they were compatible with the rules of the Humanitarian International Law.

With regard to a report of the Amnesty International (October 2015) that the Coalition Air Forces bombed the main commercial street in Saada Province at 10:30 on /02/05/2015 which resulted in damages of the shops in street, killing of seven people and wounding of 10 others.

After reviewing the facts, the JIAT found that intelligence information was available stating the target of a building of weapons’ warehouse and factory, controlled by armed Houthi militia, which is located on the commercial street in the city of Saada. By using a laser-guided bomb with greater accuracy, the bomb missed the target which was away about 60 meters due to a technical fault in the airplane which resulted in damages in the nearby buildings.

In light of the above facts confirming that the incident occurred due to purely technical fault in the airplane, the JIAT recommended that the Coalition Forces would apologise for the damages caused due to technical fault and to provide appropriate assistance to those affected.

The Spokesman of the team Mansur Al-Mansur, who is also its Legal Counselor held a press conference, at King Salman Air Base, in Riyadh, to announce the final findings of the team in Yemen, which were based on transparency and providing the public with facts.

The team, he said, asserted that claims were non-complete and misleading, without details relevant to the incidents, citing lack of naming of alleged schools and other social care houses, allegedly targeted.

In other cases, he stressed that there were no coordinates, whatsoever, of the sites and locations, that were hit by the airstrikes.

Al-Mansur emphasised that the team is overt in reaching out these various world bodies, in addition to plaintiffs related to the armed conflict, in Yemen, to acquire details related to these allegations.

He noted that experts among the team were checking and counterchecking provided information, in order to be included in the final report, before announcing them to the public.