The UN's assertion that the Saudi-led coalition has committed war crimes in Yemen is unlikely to be true. UN experts have not been to Yemen, depending instead on hearsay evidence and analysis of photographs.
The UN has a pattern of unsubstantiated allegations of war crimes against the armed forces of sovereign states. Without any military expertise, and never having visited Gaza, a UN commission convicted the Israel Defense Force of deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians in the 2014 conflict. It was an assessment roundly rejected by America's most senior military officer, General Martin Dempsey, and an independent commission.
The Houthis have learned many lessons from Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, groups also supported by Iran. Those lessons include the falsification of civilian casualty figures and their causes. The UN swallowed the fake Gaza figures hook, line and sinker, and are now making the same error in Yemen.
The Houthis exploit gullible or compliant reporters and human rights groups to facilitate their propaganda, including false testimony and fabrication of imagery.
Forensic analysis shows that rather than deliberately targeting civilians, the Saudis and their allies have taken remarkable steps to minimize civilian casualties.