The command of the Arab coalition battling Houthi rebels in Yemen has announced the creation of an independent commission of inquiry to examine charges of possible abuses against civilians in the conflict.
In a brief statement published by the official Saudi SPA news agency on Sunday, the coalition command said that it had formed “an independent team of experts in international humanitarian law and weapons to assess the incidents and investigate the rules of engagement”.
The coalition said the objective was to “develop a clear and comprehensive report on each incident with the conclusions, lessons learned, recommendations and measures that should be taken” to spare civilians.
The statement followed a UN report which concluded that civilian targets were part of the coalition air strikes in Yemen.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the coalition said on Sunday that American and British military experts were advising its forces on how to improve aerial targeting and reduce civilian casualties.
“Experts from the United States … (will) work on extensive reports and develop operating mechanisms, together with the British side,” Saudi coalition spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri told journalists in Riyadh.
He said the advisers held a workshop in recent days at the coalition headquarters.
The conflict in Yemen has killed more than 5,800 people and wounded 27,000, according to UN figures.
It began in March to prevent Iran-backed Houthi fighters from taking complete control of Yemen after seizing much of the north.