Dubai: The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting to restore Yemen’s internationally-recognised government has said it is following up “with great concern” reports that its forces targeted the Souk Elaf market in Yemen’s Saada province.
The Joint Forces Command is currently conducting its After-Action Review, the Saudi Press Agency quoted Col. Turki Bin Saleh Al Malki, the spokesman for the coalition as saying.
Preliminary findings will be announced as soon as operational vetting and comprehensive reviews take place, he added.
The Joint Forces Command reiterated its commitment to the rules of engagement in accordance with the principles of the international humanitarian law which assume each individual in a conflict is a civilian until proven otherwise.
“We exercise the maximum degree of care and precaution to avoid civilian harm,” Saudi UN Ambassador Abdullah Al Mouallimi told reporters at the United Nations in October.
Al Mouallimi blamed the Iran-allied Al Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen’s ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh for putting civilians at risk, including using children as human shields. Yemen has been devastated by more than two years of civil war in which President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, is fighting to drive the Al Houthis out of cities they seized in 2014 and 2015.
At least 10,000 people have been killed and the conflict has ruined the economy and pushed millions to the brink of famine.