US, UK arms kill more than 200 Yemeni civilians: Report

WASHINGTON (AA): The Saudi- and United Arab Emirates-led coalition has killed more than 200 people, including women and children, using US and British-made weapons in Yemen, said a report Wednesday. The report, “Day of Judgment: The Role of the US and Europe in Civilian Death, Destruction, and Trauma in Yemen” was prepared by the US-based University Network for Human Rights and the Yemeni human rights group Mwatana.

The 128-page investigation documented 27 “apparently unlawful” attacks on civilians carried out by the coalition between April 2015 and April 2018. “These twenty-seven airstrikes killed at least 203 people and injured at least 749. At least 122 children and at least 56 women were among the dead and wounded,” said the report.

“Many of the attacks appeared to take place far from any potential military target. Others caused harm to civilians that vastly outweighed any likely military benefit,” it said, adding the coalition forces had not taken adequate precautions to minimize harm to civilians. According to the report, US-made munitions, including cluster bombs, had likely been used in 25 attacks and UK-made munitions, including Paveway IV and “Hakim” precision guided bombs, in five of the attacks.

 It said 16 attacks were on civilian gatherings, civilian homes and a civilian boat; five attacks were on educational and health facilities; five attacks were on civilian businesses; and one attack was on a government cultural center. “These cases reinforce prior evidence demonstrating that the Saudi/UAE-led Coalition is failing to fulfill its obligations under the laws of war and repeatedly using US weapons in apparently disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks,” said the report. The release comes weeks after the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation that would require President Donald Trump to halt US assistance for the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen.

Also in February, an all-party committee of the House of Lords concluded in a report that the British government’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia are unlawful. Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains. Since then, tens of thousands of Yemenis, including numerous civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, while another 14 million are now at risk of starvation, according to the UN.