Statement issued by the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) on the claim that Coalition Forces targeted medical facility in (Sha'ara) in (Sa'ada) governorate on (10/01/2016)
With regard to the statement of the Secretary-General of Medecins Sans FrontiAres (MSF) that at (9:20) am on Sunday (10/01/2016), one of the medical facilities supported by MSF in (Sha'ara) in (Sa'ada) governorate was targeted, causing the death of (5) people and wounding at least (8) others, and the attack caused damages to the building of the medical center.
The JIAT vetted the incident, and reviewed all documents, including procedures and Rules Of Engagement, Daily Mission Schedule, After Mission Report, satellite images, coalitions operational and intelligence reports, Coalitions Artillery tasks, the information and photos provided by (MSF) about this unfortunate incident, provisions and principles of International Humanitarian Law and its customary rules.
After assessment of evidences, JIAT found that on Sunday (10/01/2016), there were no aerial missions conducted in the location around the medical center in (Sha'ara) in (Sa'ada) governorate, and the closest targeting was about (17) km away from the medical facility.
By analysis of the aerial and satellite images of the site as well as the (MSF) photographs of the medical facility after the targeting shows that the effects of the damage to the medical facility does not commensurate with the impact of aerial targeting.
After studying of all the operational tasks of the Coalition land Forces, JIAT found that on Sunday (10/01/2016) at (8:50)am, Coalition Forces units came under fire from a mortar post belonging to the Al-Huthi armed militia.
An artillery unit from the Coalition Forces dealt with the source of the fire (mortar), located about (1700) meters away from the medical facility, and about (8) KM from the international border of Saudi Arabia.
By studying the location of Al Huthi armed militia sources of fire (date and area of the claim) and the operational situation at the claimed area at that date JIAT found:
1. The medical facility is in the Coalition Forces No Strike List (NSL), and it is an old stone bricks building.
2. The area was a battlefield of artillery weapons between the Coalition Forces and Al-Hothi armed militia, about (188) projectiles where fired by Al-Huthi armed militia on locations inside Saudi Arabia lands before and during the incident.
In light of that, and after studying documents and photographs, interviewing Coalition Forces and (MSF) personnel, comparing the timing of the incident with the firing registers of Coalition Artillery units, JIAT founds that due to the presence of the fire sources of Al-Huthi armed militia near and around the Medical facility, one of the Coalition Forces artillery shells fell on the medical center while dealing with Al-Huthi armed militia fire sources, and sees it is appropriate for the Coalition States to give voluntary assistance for the human losses and material damages.
Source: Saudi Press Agency