Tag: cluster munitions

Saudi Arabia Admits to Using UK-Supplied Cluster Bombs in Yemen

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One of the West’s key allies in the Middle East has admitted to what it calls “limited use” of UK-manufactured cluster bombs in Yemen. These types of munitions are banned under international law.

When a cluster bomb explodes, it releases several smaller projectiles which allows the damage to spread to a larger area– potentially putting civilian lives at risk. These sub-munitions can also essentially become landmines. Cluster bombs were banned under international law in 2010– a treaty Britain signed upon its creation in 2008. However, Saudi Arabia and most of their coalition partners– including the United States– have not signed this same treaty.

US: Suspend Saudi Arms Sales

Promptly Publish Findings of Yemen Conflict Review

The United States should immediately halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia following numerous unlawful coalition attacks in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to President Barack Obama. The review announced by the US government following the October 8, 2016 bombing of a crowded funeral hall should examine alleged unlawful airstrikes in which US forces may have taken part and its findings should be released publicly before Obama leaves office.

“While coalition forces bomb homes, schools, hospitals and funerals in Yemen, the United States continues to allow shipments of billions of dollars of arms to Saudi Arabia,” said Sarah Margon, Washington director at Human Rights Watch. “President Obama has one final chance to change US policy on Saudi Arabia and Yemen for the better by stopping weapons’ transfers immediately and reviewing possible participation of US forces in the coalition’s many unlawful airstrikes.”

Russia/Syria: Widespread New Cluster Munition Use

Unexploded Submunitions Threaten Civilians

The Syrian-Russian joint military operation in Syria has extensively used internationally banned cluster munitions in its recent offensive, Human Rights Watch said today.
Human Rights Watch has documented 47 cluster munition attacks which killed and injured dozens of civilians in opposition-controlled territory across three governorates since May 27, 2016. The actual number of cluster munition attacks is most likely higher.

“Since Russia and Syria have renewed their joint air operations, we have seen a relentless use of cluster munitions,” said Ole Solvang, deputy emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. “The Russian government should immediately ensure that neither its forces nor Syria’s use this inherently indiscriminate weapon.”