Saudi-led coalition may have committed war crimes in Yemen

Saudi-led coalition may have committed war crimes in Yemen

Saudi-led coalition may have committed war crimes in Yemen

The government of Yemen and the coalition including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates may have conducted attacks "in violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution that may amount to war crimes", the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in an analysis.

All sides have conscripted children between 11 and 17 years and used them to participate in the hostilities, also war crimes, the 41-page report said.

The trio have also chronicled the damages from coalition air strikes, the single most lethal force in the fighting, over the a year ago.

The experts say they have identified, where possible, individuals who may be responsible for war crimes and passed a confidential list of their names to the United Nations high commissioner for human rights.

"There is little evidence of any attempt by parties to the conflict to minimize civilian casualties", Kamel Jendoubi, the head of the investigations team, known as the Group of global and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen, said in the statement. The UN says the three-year air war has killed at least 6,475 people, and probably many more.

But the panel, headed by Tunisian expert Kamel Jendoubi, neither specifically referred to the United States and Britain, which provide arms and intelligence to the Saudi-led alliance, nor did it point a finger at Iranian support for the Houthis.

The experts also found evidence of widespread arbitrary detention throughout the country by all parties, and ill-treatment and torture of some facilities.

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Military sources in Yemen said the jets targeted a military unit under the command of the Saudi-led coalition which includes Al-Qaeda militants recruited by the coalition to fight against Yemenis in western shores of the impoverished war-torn country.

Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing an unnamed official from Yemen's air defense unit, reported that the Saudi reconnaissance drone was shot down as it was flying in the skies over al-Fazah area south of the provincial capital city of Hudaydah, located 150 kilometers southwest of the capital Sana'a, on Wednesday evening.

The U.N. report comes as talks to end the Yemen war-the first major diplomatic effort since 2016-are set to begin early next month in Geneva, mediated by the U.N.'s Yemen envoy, Martin Griffiths.

Kristine Beckerle, the Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch, which recently issued its own report, said on Friday's PBS NewsHour that the US has been "tight-lipped" about the kind of support it is providing the coalition.

The Saudi-led alliance has carried out a campaign of thousands of air strikes and restricted imports into Yemen. Strikes that fail to spare people or structures protected by worldwide humanitarian law would be unlawful violations.

"For the last several years we have been working with the Saudis and the Emiratis, doing what we can to reduce any chance of innocent people being injured or killed", he said.

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