KSA attacks Yemen with US-sold unconventional weapons: HRW
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has lashed out at Saudi Arabia for using cluster bombs against civilians in Yemen, saying the United States is to blame as well because it has sold such unconventional weapons to Riyadh.
HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth told IRIB that Saudi Arabia has no justification for using cluster bombs on Yemen’s residential areas.
He said it is regrettable that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have refrained from recognizing the 2008 HRW Convention on Cluster Munitions that prohibits the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions.
He expressed hope that regional countries would protest against the use of unconventional weapons in the region by any state.
Roth said more than 650 Yemeni civilians, including women and children, have so far been killed directly by Saudi Arabia’s bombs since the beginning of the airstrikes in the impoverished country late in March.
The body’s executive director further expressed deep concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen and warned that lack of food and fuel would cause many health problems for the Yemeni people.
He stressed the importance of finding ways to dispatch basic humanitarian aid to people in war-wracked Yemen.
He said the HRW expressed hope about the materialization of Saudi Arabia’s pledge of a five-day ceasefire in its brutal aggression against neighboring Yemen, set to start on May 12, and emphasized that a complete truce is needed to end the Yemeni crisis.
The HRW official called on all sides involved in the Yemeni conflict to help dispatch relief aid to the people.
He said after the establishment of the ceasefire, the United Nations would be able to pave the way for the distribution of aid to the Yemenis.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday warned about the consequences of restrictions on Yemen’s imports of food and basic commodities as deadly Saudi air raids continue to hamper relief operations in the war-ravaged Arab state.
A Yemeni boy digs through the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes in Sana’a, Yemen, on May 1, 2015. © AP
“If restrictions on the commercial imports of food and fuel continue, then it will kill more children than bullets and bombs in the coming months,” UNICEF’s spokesman, Christophe Boulierac, said.
He noted that 120,000 Yemeni children are at the risk of severe acute malnutrition over the next three months if health and hygiene services fail to function normally, and an immunization campaign aiming to protect millions of children against communicable diseases does not get underway.
Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.
The Saudi attacks have killed 1,200 people, including many women and children, and injured several thousand more so far.