UN Warns US, West over Support for Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

Yemen (Tasnim) – A new report by the United Nations looking into just 10 recent attacks by Saudi Arabia in Yemen said some of them could amount to war crimes.

A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition has carried out attacks in Yemen that “may amount to war crimes,” the United Nations sanctions monitors reported to the body’s Security Council, and reminded coalition allies, including the United States, Britain and France, that they are obligated to respect international humanitarian law.

The annual report by the experts who monitor sanctions and the conflict in Yemen investigated 10 coalition airstrikes between March and October that killed at least 292 civilians, including some 100 women and children.

“In eight of the 10 investigations, the panel found no evidence that the airstrikes had targeted legitimate military objectives,” the experts wrote in a 63-page report presented to the Security Council, TeleSuR reported.

“For all 10 investigations, the panel considers it almost certain that the coalition did not meet international humanitarian law requirements of proportionality and precautions in attack.”

The report said that at least some of the attacks “may amount to war crimes,” and further warned that military advisers and troops from the US, Britain and other Western countries, could bear some responsibility.

“All coalition member states and their allies also have an obligation to take appropriate measures to ensure respect for international humanitarian law by the coalition,” the UN experts wrote.


Image Source – duncan c, CC BY-NC 2.0, Flickr Commons

“The panel finds that violations associated with the conduct of the air campaign are sufficiently widespread to reflect either an ineffective targeting process or a broader policy of attrition against civilian infrastructure,” they added.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have been accused of bombing several schools and hospitals, at least two of which belonged to the international aid organization Doctors Without Borders, killing dozens of staff and patients.

The UN had previously placed the blacklisted Saudi Arabia-led coalition as a violator of children’s rights over the school attacks, but was forced to backtrack on that decision after Saudi Arabia threatened to cut funding for UN programs.

Since March 2015 more than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen, the majority of them civilians, according to the UN and other aid groups.

This report prepared by Tasnim News Agency.