The use of such munitions may play a role in explaining why there is such a massive civilian toll in the war.
US officials are confirming tonight what has already been widely reported, that the Saudi military is using cluster munitions in its war on Yemen, despite their strikes targeting areas with a heavy civilian presence and cluster munitions having a notorious reputation for killing civilians months and even years after use.
Saudi Arabia is not a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and has been provided with the weapons by the US, a provision that traditionally comes with at least an implicit admonishment not to use them except under very particular circumstances, to which the Saudi war against Yemen would certainly not apply.
This has raised the possibility that the US, which is openly endorsing the Saudi war, may have provided them with a secret “understanding” on the matter, though the Pentagon is at this point refusing to say whether they’ve even brought the use of cluster munitions up in conversations with the Saudis at all.
The use of such munitions may play a role in explaining why there is such a massive civilian toll in the war, as the bombs are designed to litter regions with bomblets, many of which go unexploded until happened upon, usually by children attracted to the bright colors, or civilians rummaging through wreckage.
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