KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is not involved in the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition that has carried out attacks in Yemen which, according to the United Nations (UN), “may amount to war crimes”.
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Malaysian troops in Saudi Arabia were only there for training exercises, specifically on evacuation and disaster relief.
“Our relationship with Saudi Arabia does not involve participation in any attack or operation, whether in Yemen, Syria or Iraq,” he told a press conference here today.
His comments follow a report by AFP, citing the annual report by UN sanctions monitors, which investigated 10 coalition air strikes between March and October last year in Yemen.
At least 292 civilians, including some 100 women and children, were killed, the report stated.
The coalition’s chief of joint operations told UN experts that officers from France, Malaysia and Britain were present at Riyadh headquarters.
Hishammuddin confirmed this but said the Malaysian officials were present for the learning experience.
“When we were there, the Saudi Arabia leadership gave our armed forces some lessons at headquarters. I don’t think that is a problem.
“Our policy to stay within Saudi Arabian borders has not changed.”
Amanah, in a statement, had called Malaysia’s presence there “awkward” because Western powers such as France and Britain were also present.
These countries, the opposition party said, had anti-Islam policies. FMT