الإثنين، ٢٠ مارس ٢٠١٧ - ٣:٣٠ م

Statement of Armed Forces official source on refugee boat incident

ABU DHABI, 20th March, 2017 (WAM) -- An official source in the UAE Armed Forces has said that the UAE Armed Forces did not target the Somali refugee boat which was travelling from the coast of Yemen to Sudan.

Citing preliminary investigations into the incident, the source declared that the UAE Armed Forces have clearly recognised the non-military nature of the boat which was carrying a large number of civilians.

The source said that in the light of this information, the UAE Armed Forces adhered to the strict engagement rules preventing them from targeting any non-military targets.

The source added the investigations indicate the possibility that the boat was targeted by the Houthi rebel forces operating in the region.

It also added that the UAE Armed Forces seek to determine more accurately the details associated with "the unprovoked attack, which resulted in a painful humanitarian disaster".

The source stressed that the UAE Armed Forces welcome any independent international investigation into the incident.

WAM/Hazem/Moran