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Saudi Human Rights Delegation Chief: Houthis Violated International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Armed followers of the Houthi movement protest against the presidentÕs announcement of an extension of the state of emergency and U.S. supporting the Arab alliance led by Saudi Arabia, what they say is a U.S. interference in Yemen’s affairs in Sanaa, Yemen May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

Saudi Arabia confirmed on Thursday that operations led by the Arab coalition in Yemen began in 2015 upon the request of its legitimate government when it faced an illicit armed coup obstructing the process of peaceful political transition, said the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The insurgency comprising Iran-backed militias used coercive force and seized state institutions, overrunning the capital Sana’a in 2014.

In his speech before the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Fahd bin Obaidullah Al-Mutairi, Head of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Department at the Saudi delegation to the United Nations, stressed that the coalition’s operations aim at restoring the legitimate government in Yemen internationally recognized by the Security Council through resolution no. 2216.

He confirmed that the Houthi militias and armed loyalists backing former President “Ali Abdullah Saleh” violated international humanitarian law and human rights without any penalties, pointing out that these militias targeted the Kingdom’s security with ballistic rockets. He added that obsession of ballistic weapons by terrorist organizations, including the Houthi armed militias, represents a threat to regional and international security and international shipping routes.

Al-Mutairi expressed his deep regret over the suffering and loss of innocent lives suffered by the Yemeni people. He said that the coalition is taking important steps to protect civilians during its military operations to end suffering, minimize humanitarian damage and accelerate the relief efforts for the Yemeni people.

He stressed that the Kingdom welcomed the role played by the Yemeni National Committee for the Investigation of Human Rights Violations, pointing out that the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) will continue to carry out its tasks and ensure that all military operations comply with the provisions of international humanitarian law and investigate all incidents that are alleged to cause civil damage in order to avoid any errors.