Saudi Arabia buy of THAAD missile defense systems in pipeline

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Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog, who leads the council's committee on children and armed conflict, backed Guterres' efforts to engage with Riyadh on the next steps and said the list should serve to "promote change".

"THAAD's exo-atmospheric, hit-to-kill capability will add an upper-tier to Saudi Arabia's layered missile defense architecture", unnamed officials told the AFP.

"While we welcome the overdue listing of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the CAAC report, it is a shame that the United Nations caved in to pressure and included it in a new category specifically created to limit condemnation of the coalition". Saudi Arabia, which in an epochal decision recently allowed women in the country to drive, has clarified that it is not going to recruit foreign woman drivers.

Before the report's submission to the Security Council, rights groups warned against the removal of the coalition from the list once again. "The Coalition is committed to the protection of all civilians in armed conflict, particularly children", it said. The Saudi-led coalition is responsible for the majority of these child casualties. He said 32 of those investigations have been concluded though he didn't provide details of the findings. Saudi Arabia denied that it had pressured Ban and has since insisted that the coalition is respecting its obligations under global humanitarian law.

Its aim is to ensure that all units, commands and operations are carried out and have safeguards that "protect children as much as possible", he said.

Saudi-backed forces have been launching airstrikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who swept the United Nations -approved government out of power in 2014 and control the capital Sana'a.

Al Mouallimi blamed the Iran-allied Al Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen's ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh for putting civilians at risk, including using children as human shields.

"The Secretary-General has done the right thing by including the Saudi-led coalition on his list of shame for the continuing attacks that have killed hundreds of children and destroyed dozens of schools and hospitals in Yemen" said Jo Becker, Human Rights Watch advocacy director. The U.N. says the figures have been verified. The report said the coalition was responsible for 683 of the total 1,340 child casualties previous year in Yemen and for 73 percent of the 52 attacks on schools and hospitals.

It would boost Saudi and Gulf security against Iranian and other regional threats, the state department added.

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