Coalition forces returns child to extended family
Houthi militants wanted to take advantage of the Coalition’s rules of engagement
Riyadh, May -22 — Jamilah, the four-year-old Yemeni girl, who had been used by her father as a human shield, was rescued by members of the Yemeni National Army (YNA) and given the opportunity to start a new life with her extended family.
The official spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, Col. Turki Almalki, announced that on Saturday, May 19, the 3rd day of Ramadan, that Jamilah was delivered to a representative of the legitimate government of Yemen in the presence of members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA), Human Rights Commission (HRC) and the director of the Child Protection Unit in the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition.
Col. Almalki clarified that during the advance of the YNA forces participating in the liberation operations of the Sa’dah governorate, one of the Iranian-backed Houthi strongholds, an armed vehicle driven by a Houthi militant attacked the YNA forces. It was later discovered that a child was inside the car at the time of the attack.
YNA forces took all possible measures to ensure the safety of the child. After the vehicle was apprehended and the driver, an Iranian-Houthi field commander carrying advanced tactical weapons, was captured, soldiers discovered a four-year-old girl dressed in boy’s clothes. YNA forces quickly learned that the driver was the girl’s father who had brought her to the battlefield with the intention of using her as a human shield. This is evidence that the terrorist Iranian-backed Houthi militia is attempting to manipulate the Coalition’s rules of engagement, especially those relating to child protection.
“Using this child to take advantage of the rules of engagement applied by the Coalition, which strictly prohibits targeting civilian vehicles and children, indicates clearly that the militants are aware of our commitment and adherence to international law,” said Col.Almalki. “The Houthi militants continue to use civilians as human shields inside Yemen and across the borders with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. What you have witnessed today – a baby girl disguised as a boy, shows that these militias have no red lines when it comes to violating children’s rights and humanitarian laws.”
The Joint Forces of the Coalition, represented by the Child Protection Unit, provided necessary medical care for Jamila and coordinated her return to her family. She was delivered into the hands of the legitimate government of Yemen, in the presence of her family and relatives, on Saturday, May 19. The Joint Forces Command also provided financial aid to the child and her family.
Col. Almalki reiterated that the actions of the terrorist Iranian-backed Houthi militias represent flagrant violations of international humanitarian law that strictly prohibits the recruitment of children, forcing them onto the battlefield and using them as human shields to ensure that they will not be targeted as legitimate military targets.