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Saudi foreign minister rejects UN report on its involvement in Yemen war

September 5, 2017 7:28 PM
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Saudi foreign minister rejects UN report on its involvement in Yemen war

The country's foreign minister hits out at a UN report that criticises its involvement the civil war in Yemen.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News, the country's foreign minister Adel al Jubeir has accused the UN Human Rights Office of bias in compiling the report.

For two and a half years Saudi Arabia has led a coalition fighting Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The UN report blames the coalition for much of the civilian death toll, in particular the more than 1,000 children who have died.

Adel al Jubeir is unrepentant saying their report's authors have refused to seek the Saudi side of the story.

He said: "We invited the United Nations to come and discuss it with us. We invited the United Nations to come and take a look at how we choose our targets and how we conduct operations. And none of them came."

The UN report says an "entirely man-made catastrophe" is unfolding in Yemen.

One thousand are dead, more than 8,000 are injured, and there is widespread hunger and an unprecedented cholera outbreak.

Saudi Arabia accuses the Iranian-backed Houthis of starting the war. Its foreign minister insists its military campaign is worth it.

He told Sky News: "The Houthis at one point controlled the majority of territory now they control less than 20% and all this happened in less than three years.

"People look at this and say this has gone on too long, from our perspective every day is too long but it's not up to us it's up the Houthis."

Saudi Arabia backs Yemen's internationally recognised government against Houthi rebels who have seized control of the capital in Sanaa.

Despite thousands of airstrikes and a blockade of Yemen from the sea and air, the Saudi-led coalition has failed to push the Houthis out. They have though increased the misery of the Yemeni people.

The World Food programme says the ongoing offensive is hampering vital efforts to feed the population.

For now the Saudis, who are supplied and advised by the British, seem determined to press on with their campaign.

Also read: Rebels shell village in central Yemen, killing 8 civilians


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