Rights Group Says Disregard For Civilian Life By US And Saudi Arabia ‘Appalling’

Human Rights Watch blasts Saudi-led coalition for apparent war crimes and failure to investigate.
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    A March 30 airstrike on a public bus in the Khormakser district of Aden, Yemen, left four dead, including one child. Photo: Iona Craig

    A March 30 airstrike on a public bus in the Khormakser district of Aden, Yemen, left four dead, including one child. Saudi forces killed another 10 civilians during an airstrike on a bus in Tiaz, Yemen. Photo: Iona Craig.

    The United States has been party to numerous apparent war crimes committed by the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, yet—along with all nations responsible—is violating international requirements to investigate bombings of homes, schools, and refugee camps, Human Rights Watch (HRW) declared on Monday.

    Coming just hours after peace talks concluded with no clear resolution to the nearly nine-month-old conflict, the report finds that the coalition launched six “apparently unlawful airstrikes” in residential areas of Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, that killed a total of 60 civilians during September and October. One September 13 bombing of a home in Sanaa’s old city, which is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, killed 18 civilians and wounded far more.

    Abd al-Khalik Muhammad al-Khamisi, who was at home with his family 50 meters from where the bomb hit, told researchers, “I woke up to a loud noise, and felt the glass from all the windows in the room shatter on top of us. My wife and I asked each other why a bomb would drop here; there was no military target near here.”

    Such attacks are not isolated cases, but rather, reflect the coalition’s overall approach and strategy—in which war planes indiscriminately drop bombs with “wide-area effect in populated areas,” the rights group charged. As Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director for HRW put it, “Their disregard for the safety of civilians is appalling.”

    Indeed, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported in late September that coalition bombings were responsible for two-thirds of all civilian deaths in Yemen. According to the global body’s latest count, at least 2,500 civilians have been killed in the conflict since the coalition began its bombing campaign at the end of March.

    The coalition stands accused of numerous other war crimes, including 10 unlawful bombings between April and August in Ibb, Amran, Hajja, Hodaida, Taizz, and Sanaa that were also documented by HRW. And earlier this month, Amnesty International investigated five coalition bombings of schools between August and October, calling them a “flagrant attack on [the] future of Yemen’s children.”

    The coalition has also bombed medical facilities, markets, schools, power plants, refugee camps, factories, and warehouses storing humanitarian supplies. From the beginning, Yemenis have fastidiously documented the human impacts of the bombings and rising violence, including through the online campaign #KefayaWar, or “Enough War” in Arabic.

    But despite the documentation of numerous apparent war crimes, HRW notes that it is “unaware of any investigations by Saudi Arabia or other members of the nine-nation coalition into these or other allegedly unlawful strikes, or of any compensation for victims.” In fact, Saudi Arabia in October successfully lobbied United Nations countries to abandon their proposal for a human rights inquiry investigating both sides in the war.

    HRW demanded an end to such impunity or every country officially participating in—or backing—the coalition. This includes the U.S., the rights group emphasizes, which by “coordinating and directly assisting coalition military operations, is a party to the conflict and as such is obligated to investigate allegedly unlawful attacks in which it took part.”

    What’s more, U.S.-based companies are the number one supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia, with the State Department recently approving a $1.29 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia.

    “The Saudi-led coalition has repeatedly struck houses, schools, and hospitals where no military target was in sight,” declared Stork. “The countries best positioned to stop the coalition from carrying out such heinous violations, notably the U.S. and U.K., need to weigh in heavily or find themselves complicit in the abuses.”

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    • Michael Sultana

      What’s new. Simple question, with all the military and civil intelligence capability available to the Americans and Saudi’s, what did they think they were bombing ? Surely, they laid some ground work before bombing attacks ? So many people dying for what ?

    • des mond

      There will be issues of human rights if you are not friendly or an ally of US. Of course these countries will include China and Russia and their allies.

    • clernfimmel891

      The US government funtionaries who are tacitly supporting the Sunni jihad are probably being bribed, big time. Obama’s always been a front man with his hand out. Now he’s an absolutely cynical one. He says he’s a Christian and he’s selling out the Christians in the Middle East, ask them.

    • tapatio

      Both the United States government and the Saudi Arabian regime are puppets and proxies of the Criminal, Predatory Capitalist Cartel whose seat of power is……

      Rothschild Bank
      New Court
      St Swithin’s Lane
      London EC4N 8AL
      United Kingdom

      That cartel created Zionism, the Saudi “royals” and the Bolshevik “Revolution” as vehicles to expand its power. Bolshevism (Communism) failed. Zionism (Judeo-Fascism) has, so far, succeeded.

      First is a plan, written for Netanyahu’s reign as Emperor of Greater Israel. The writer is the pseudo-American Zionist fanatic, Richard Perle………


      “………by establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks
      emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces.”
      (Al Qaeda, ISIS and the other

      terrorist groups operating in Syria and, now, in other countries are the “proxies”

      referred to by Perle)

      Next is a report A Report of The Project for the New American Century completed in
      September 2000………..



      Compare actual events from 2001 to date to the plans outlined in this “report”. Please
      note, at the end of the report, the list of fanatical Zionists and their sycophants who are responsible for……

      “REBUILDING AMERICA’S DEFENSES Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century”

      Paul Wolfowitz

      William Kristol

      Alvin Bernstein

      Eliot Cohen

      David Epstein

      Donald Kagan

      Fred Kagan

      Robert Kagan

      Robert Killebrew

      Steve Rosen

      Gary Schmitt

      Abram Shulsky

      Dov Zakheim

      • MountainMan23

        From your first link
        A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (1996)

        Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions. Jordan has challenged Syria’s regional ambitions recently by suggesting the restoration of the Hashemites in Iraq. This has triggered a Jordanian-Syrian rivalry to which Asad has responded by stepping up efforts to destabilize the Hashemite Kingdom, including using infiltrations. Syria recently signaled that it and Iran might prefer a weak, but barely surviving Saddam, if only to undermine and humiliate Jordan in its efforts to remove Saddam.

        But Syria enters this conflict with potential weaknesses: Damascus is too preoccupied with dealing with the threatened new regional equation to permit distractions of the Lebanese flank. And Damascus fears that the ‘natural axis’ with Israel on one side, central Iraq and Turkey on the other, and Jordan, in the center would squeeze and detach Syria from the Saudi Peninsula. For Syria, this could be the prelude to a redrawing of the map of the Middle East which would threaten Syria’s territorial integrity.

        .. and when the Saudis provided the “new Pearl Harbor” the neocons were off and running ..

        • tapatio

          Excellent comment. The Saudis neither could or would provide our “new Pearl Harbor” without full cooperation of Washington and Israel……….plus, of course, the blessings of their masters in the Rothschild-Bilderberg Cartel.

          • MountainMan23

            I don’t remember the context, but I distinctly recall my friend’s response: “You’re just now realizing the intelligence agencies run the world?”

            • tapatio

              Intelligence agencies have masters. Those masters are the banks.