Saudi-Led Coalition Blamed for War Crimes in Yemen
Amnesty International has blamed the Arab coalition fighting in Yemen for carrying out unlawful airstrikes, some of which amount to war crimes.
The UK-based rights group on Wednesday called for the suspension of transfers of certain arms to members of the coalition, which launched an air campaign against Houthis in March.
Amnesty said in a report that it had examined 13 deadly airstrikes by the coalition, assembled by Saudi Arabia, that had killed about 100 civilians, including 59 children.
“This report uncovers yet more evidence of unlawful airstrikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, some of which amount to war crimes. It demonstrates in harrowing detail how crucial it is to stop arms being used to commit serious violations of this kind,” said Amnesty’s Donatella Rovera, who headed the group’s fact-finding mission to Yemen, Al Jazeera reports.
“The USA and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law.”
Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates are participating in the coalition.
Amnesty said its researchers had found remnants of two types of internationally banned cluster bombs as it investigated attacks on Saadah, a Houthi stronghold in northeastern Yemen.
Another rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch, in August blamed Saudi forces for using cluster bombs in Yemen.
The claim was then denied by a spokesman for the coalition.
Amnesty also said cases had been documented of civilians who were not directly participating in hostilities but were killed or injured while asleep or carrying out their daily activities.
It said that in at least four of the airstrikes investigated, “homes attacked were struck more than once, suggesting that they had been the intended targets despite no evidence they were being used for military purposes”.
Another Amnesty report, published in August, condemned both sides in the conflict over the killing of civilians.
More than 2,300 civilians have been killed in the Saudi-led war against Yemen since March, the UN Human Rights office said late September.