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  • People carry the body of a woman they recovered from under the rubble of a house destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in Sana’a, Yemen

    People carry the body of a woman they recovered from under the rubble of a house destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in Sana’a, Yemen | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 March 2019
Opinion

A new international report shows that U.S. and U.K. made weapons killed nearly 1,000 civilians by Saudi/UAE-led Coalition attacks in Yemen. 

U.S. and U.K. made weapons have killed and maimed nearly 1,000 civilians in Yemen, including children and women, since the start of the war in 2015, according to a new report from the University Network for Human Rights (UNHR) and Yemeni monitoring group Mwatana.

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The 128-page investigation, named “Day of Judgment,” was released Wednesday, and covers 27 airstrikes launched in Yemen by the Saudi-led Coalition between April 2015 and April 2018. Their findings show that in nearly all attacks U.S. or U.K. made missiles and bombs were used, killing at least 203 people and injuring nearly 750, including over 120 children and at least 56 women.

The report states that many of the attacks took place far from any potential military target and “in no case did it appear that Coalition forces took adequate precautions to minimize harm to civilians, as required by international humanitarian law.” Multiple human rights organizations, including the U.N., have denounced internationally such violations on civilian population and infrastructure.

“I was still awake. I was sitting in a chair because I was afraid of the planes flying overhead and making a very loud noise. Then they dropped a bomb near us and afterward they hit our neighborhood with three bombs. After that I lost consciousness,” is the testimony of Ahmad Mansour, 10 years old, wounded in 2016. 

Dubbed as the “Forgotten War,” the Yemeni civil war started on March 26, 2015, when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates led a coalition of countries in a military campaign against Ansar Allah (Houthi) rebels in Yemen in support of the Saudi-backed government of Abd-Rabu Mansour Hadi. 

“While precise figures are lacking, an estimated 50,000 people have been killed as a direct effect of the war and 85,000 children may have died of hunger and preventable diseases,” General Director of Pax International, Jan Gruiters, said. 

Despite this, both the U.S. and U.K. continue to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in violation of domestic and international law, including the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty and the EU Common Position on Arms Export Controls. However, as part of a congressional discussion to stop selling weapons to the Saudi/UAE-led Coalition,  a Mwatana chairperson will deliver testimony to the U.S. Congress on March 13.

On Feb. 13, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to rescind military support for the war in Yemen. The Senate is expected to vote on a resolution this month. Mwatana representatives hope that this report will shed light on the conflict and reinforce prior evidence demonstrating the Saudi/UAE-led Coalition’s actions on the war, which this year reaches its fourth year. 

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