World Bulletin / News Desk
“The Group of Experts have reasonable grounds to believe that individuals in the Government of Yemen and the coalition may have conducted attacks in violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution that may amount to war crimes,” said a 41-page report issued by the UN experts, which was mandated by United Nations Human Rights Council.
Yemen has been wracked by conflict since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country.
The conflict escalated one year later when Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a wide-ranging military campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen.
Riyadh accuses the rebel group of serving as a proxy force for Iran, Saudi Arabia’s arch-foe in the region.
“Individuals in the Government of Yemen and the coalition, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and in the de facto authorities have committed acts that may, subject to determination by an independent and competent court, amount to international crimes,” the report said.
The coalition airstrikes caused “most direct civilian casualties after hitting residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and medical facilities.”
"Parties to the armed conflict have perpetrated, and continue to perpetrate, violations and crimes under international law," it added.
Some 6,660 civilians were killed and 10,563 injured in Yemeni conflict since March 2015, the UN Human Rights Office said and warned that the real figures are likely to be “significantly higher."
The report also highlighted the crimes of Houthi forces, including killing of civilians and child recruitment.
"I call upon the Government of Yemen to investigate and prosecute violations that amount to crimes by their nationals and armed forces," said Kamel Jendoubi, the chairman of the Group of International and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen.