The Saudi-led coalition launching air campaign against Yemen rejected on Sunday a UN report that placed it on an annual blacklist over the deaths of hundreds of children in air strikes.
“The report is imbalanced and does not rely on credible statistics, nor does it serve the Yemeni people,” coalition spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri told the official Saudi Press Agency.
“It misleads the public with incorrect numbers and mostly relies on information from sources associated with the Houthi militia and the deposed (former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah) Saleh,” he said referring to Ansarullah revolutionaries.
The report, released on Thursday by the office of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said 785 children had been killed and 1,168 injured in Yemen last year, blaming the Saudi-led coalition for 60 percent of the toll.
It blacklisted both the coalition and Houthis for a “very large number of violations” including “attacks on schools and hospitals”.
Yemen has been since March 26, 2015 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition. Thousands have been martyred and injured in the attack, with the vast majority of them are civilians.
Riyadh launched the attack on Yemen in a bid to restore power to fugitive Hadi who is a close ally to Saudi Arabia.
In separate comments to the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Assiri said Ban’s report would not help peace talks underway in Kuwait, and would “complicate the mission” of the UN’s envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
Human rights groups have repeatedly raised concerns about Saudi air strikes on urban areas in Yemen and accused the coalition of deliberately targeting civilians with cluster bombs, which would constitute a war crime.