Local EditorThe Obama administration is worried about its complicity in war crimes in Yemen as fragments of what appear to be US-made bombs had been found at the scene of one of the most horrific civilian massacres of Saudi Arabia’s 18-month air campaign in Yemen.
According to a UN human rights office report published in August, Saudi Arabia is responsible for 60 percent of about 3,800 civilian deaths in Yemen. The report said that Saudi warplanes targeted markets, hospitals, schools and other civilian targets.
The US supports the Saudi war effort by selling arms to the Saudis and providing refueling and logistical assistance. In November 2015 the US announced a $1.29 billion deal for precision munitions specifically meant to replenish Saudi stockpiles used in Yemen.
In September 2016 the US Senate gave the go-ahead for a $1.15 billion sale of tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia by blocking the bill opposing the controversial transaction.
Meanwhile, Washington is wary of potential complicity in war crimes and has been seeking ways to curb legal risks while not angering Riyadh after striking a nuclear deal with its regional nemesis Tehran, Reuters reported, citing sources and documents released through a Freedom of Information Act request. The documents date from mid-May 2015 to February 2016 and were heavily redacted, the agency reported.
Aircraft from the US-backed Saudi-led coalition on Saturday bombed a community hall in the Yemeni Sanaa, where thousands of people had gathered for a funeral for Sheikh Ali al-Rawishan, the father of the interior minister.
The aircraft struck the hall four times, martyrinf more than 140 people and wounding 525. One local health official described the aftermath as “a lake of blood.”
Multiple bomb fragments at the scene appear to confirm the use of American-produced MK-82 guided bombs. One fragment, posted in a picture on the Facebook page of a prominent Yemeni lawyer, says “FOR USE ON MK-82 FIN, GUIDED BOMB.”
Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in Yemen began in March 2015 with the goal of restoring to power ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Since the aggression on Yemen began, Saudi Arabia had intentionally targeted numerous homes, factories, markets, schools, and hospitals.
On Monday, Reuters reported that Obama administration lawyers had not reached a conclusion on whether the US is a “co-belligerent” in the conflict according to international law, a distinction that might raise legal risks and obligations. But since the US had flown refueling missions for Saudi aircraft and supplied Saudi Arabia with weapons and targeting intelligence, it is complicit in Saudi Arabia’s atrocities by any normal definition.
As Bruce Riedel, a 30-year CIA officer and senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, said in April,
“If the United States and the United Kingdom, tonight, told King Salman [of Saudi Arabia] ‘this war has to end,’ it would end tomorrow. The Royal Saudi Air Force cannot operate without American and British support.”
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
11-10-2016 | 14:47