The Arab Coalition confirmed on Wednesday it has not received any information from the United Nations about an allegation that six civilians were killed in an airstrike in Yemen’s Shabwa governorate and voiced its regret that the UN comments were made within a statement strongly condemning the Houthi militia for executing nine people on Saturday.
Arab Coalition Spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Malki said he “deeply regretted” the UN’s decision to issue the statement linking the airstrike claim with the Houthi executions.
The UN secretary-general’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said on Sunday that the United Nations was concerned about a reported airstrike by the coalition in Shabwa that allegedly killed six civilians from the same family.
Al-Malki said the coalition has followed up on Dujarric’s statement about the alleged Shabwa airstrike and “accordingly, the coalition confirms that it did not receive any coordination or information from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen about this claim, as is customary in the coordination mechanism and in such cases.”
He said the coalition is seriously looking into the allegation and taking the necessary measures to verify the accounts. The issue has been referred to the Joint Incidents Assessment Team, which will announce the results, he said.
Al-Malki said the coalition applies the highest standards of targeting in its military operations in accordance with international humanitarian law and applies the best international practices in rules of engagement.
He said there had not been any claims of incidents during the past 14 months, which showed the coalition was taking all necessary measures to spare civilians from collateral damage.
The coalition, he said, was exercising the highest degree of restraint while the Houthi militia launched hundreds of ballistic missiles and explosive-laden drones at civilian targets in populated cities in Saudi Arabia.
He added they have not even targeted Houthi capabilities and terrorist leaders after the militia used civilians as human shields.