As for the claim on Tuesday (24/12/2019), JIAT examined the events and operations implemented by Coalition Forces and found the following:
1. One of the border units was subjected to intense shooting by combatants who infiltrated into the international borders of Saudi Arabia.
2. It was not possible to deal with the source of fire with direct weapons, due to the lack of mutual visibility and the use of mountainous terrain by infiltrators as a cover and a veil for them, which forced the border units to request support for artillery fire to put out hostile fire sources immediately for self-defense, accordingly the Coalition Forces implemented indirect fire with (3) mortar shells (120) mm, on a military target (combat elements) inside the borders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who were shooting at one of the Coalition Forces units.
By studying the satellite imagery of the location of the claim, and the location of the military operations carried out by the Coalition Forces on (24/12/2019), JIAT found the following:
1. The specific coordinate of (infiltrated combatant elements) is located at a distance of (90) meters from (Souq Al-Raqou) of the claim.
2. Two mortar shells traces were observed at the location of the coordinate of the target at the foothill inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia territory.
By studying the videos and pictures published of the claimed location in the open sources, JIAT found the following:
1. The damaged site is a medium-sized building, a burning of its interior walls was observed, and the tinplate roof was damaged.
2. The internal damage to the claimed location is greater than of the mortar impact.
3. It was reported in a televised interview, that two shells landed at the foothill at the opposite of (Souq Al-Raqou), and one shell landed on the damaged site.
By assessing the military mission executed by the mortar, JIAT found the following:
1. Civilian objects are located outside the scope of the projectile side effects used to deal with the military target, and the distance is considered safe compared to the type and size of the shells used.
2. (Souq Al-Raqou) of the claim, is at the same direction as the projectile.
3. JIAT was able to determine the location of two mortar shells impact points, but was unable to determine the third mortar impact point, and it is likely that it landed on (Souq Al-Raqou) due to a technical defect, or the possibility of it being subjected to changing weather conditions.
In light of that, JIAT found the following:
1. The Coalition Air and Land Forces did not target (Souq Al-Raqou) in (Monabih) district of (Saada) governorate on (27/11/2019).
2. The Coalition Air and land Forces did not target (Souq Al-Raqou) in (Menabah) directorate of (Saada) governorate on (24/12/2019), but the Coalition Land Forces dealt with (combatant elements) that infiltrated into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia border, and were shooting at one of the Coalition units on (24/12/2019) with indirect weapons for self-defense, as it was the only means available to deal with the threat.
3. it is likely that one of the mortar shells landed on (Souq Al-Raqou) of the claim, on (24/12/2019), and that the projectile miss was due to a technical defect, or the possibility of it being subjected to changing weather conditions.
4. JIAT sees that it is appropriate for the Coalition States to provide assistance for human and material losses, that occurred due to the possibility of the projectile falling on (Souq Al-Raqou) of the claim.
Source: Saudi Press Agency