Maj. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, adviser to the Saudi defense minister said that the Arab coalition has the courage to accept the results of the investigation on Sanaa incident, because errors can in any military action.
In a phone call with Al Arabiya, Asiri emphasized that “the important mission now is to modify the path and review the rules of engagement to make sure such errors which are not compatible with the principles of the alliance, which aims to serve the citizens. will not happen again.”
The coalition announced Saturday, that it accepts results by the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) on the Great Hall incident in Sanaa after examining the investigation.
“The coalition affirms that it accepts the results of the investigation, and has begun to implement the JIAT’s recommendations,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the coalition as saying.
The investigation’s report has mentioned that one of the coalition warplanes had “wrongly targeted” a funeral in the capital Sanaa after receiving false information from a party within the Yemeni army.
Yemen army’s wrong intel led to funeral strike
The coalition added that the directing operations center of the Yemeni army approved the strike without the coalition’s authorization and announced disciplinary proceedings.
“Because of non-compliance with coalition rules of engagement and procedures, and the issuing of incorrect information, a coalition aircraft wrongly targeted the location, resulting in civilian deaths and injuries,” an inquiry team found.
“Appropriate action... must be taken against those who caused the incident, and... compensation must be offered to the families of the victims.”
The coalition’s statement said also that “other parties” exploited the incident and “raised its toll.”
The coalition also expressed “its regret for the unintentional incident and the ensuing pain for victims’ families.”
It added: “The incident is not in line with the coalition’s objectives, namely protecting civilians and restoring safety and stability to Yemen.”
Below is the official statement by JIAT on the Great Hall incident in Sanaa:
The JIAT examined all related documents, and assessed evidence, including the rules of engagement (ROEs) and the testimonies of concerned personnel and those involved in the incident, and has concluded that a party affiliated to the Yemeni Presidency of the General Chief of Staff wrongly passed information that there was a gathering of armed Houthi leaders in a known location in Sanaa, and insisted that the location be targeted immediately as a legitimate military target.
JIAT has found that because of non-compliance with Coalition rules of engagement (ROEs) and procedures, and the issuing of incorrect information a Coalition aircraft wrongly targeted the location, resulting in civilian deaths and injuries.
JIAT is still gathering and analyzing data related to the incident, namely reports about some sides that used this erroneous bombing to increase the number of victims, in coordination with the relevant agencies of the legitimate Yemeni government and concerned states, and will announce the results as soon as its investigations are complete.