America is complicit in war crimes in Yemen.

Since Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015,the United States given its full support to a relentless air campaign where Saudi warplanes and bombs hit thousands of targets,including civilian sites and infrastructure withimpunity,from the beginning, US officials insisted that American weapons,training and intelligence assistance would help the Saudis avoid causing even more civilian casualties.

But this was a lie meant to obscure one of the least understood aspects of US support for Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen:it’s not that Saudi-led forces don’t know how to use American-made weapons or need help in choosing targets.They have deliberately targeted civilians and Yemen’s infrastructure since the war’s early days – and US officials have recognized this since at least 2016 and done little to stop it.

A team of United Nations investigators,commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council,presented a devastating report in Geneva in early September detailing how the US,along with Britain and France,are likely complicit in war crimes in Yemen because of continued weapons sales and intelligence support to the Saudis and their allies,especially the United Arab Emirates.Despitepressure from Saudi Arabia,the Human Rights Council voted last Thursday to extend its investigation.

American complicity in the Yemen war goes beyond providing training and intelligence support and selling billions of dollars in weapons to the UAE and Saudi Arabia,which has become Washington’s largest weapons buyer.The US is looking the other way while its allies commit war crimes and avoid responsibility for instigating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

On 14 September,the Houthis claimed responsibility for attacks on two major oil installations in Saudi Arabia,saying they were retaliation for the Saudi bombing of Yemen. But Saudi leaders and Donald Trump’s administration blamed Iran for the attacks,without providing direct evidence.

Saudi Arabia quickly invited American and UN experts to help investigate the attacks on its oil facilities.Ironically,Saudi officials have refused to cooperate with most international investigations of their actions in Yemen,including the recent UN report that found the kingdom and its allies likely committed war crimes.

Like previous investigations by human rights groups and journalists,the UN report documented how the Saudi-led coalition has killed thousands of civilians in airstrikes;intentionally starved Yemenis as a war tactic;and imposed a naval and air blockade on Houthi-controlled areas that has drastically limited deliveries of humanitarian aid.

Despite years of warnings from groups like Human Rights Watch and UN investigations that documented growing evidence of war crimes in Yemen,US officials – first under Barack Obama’s administration and then under Trump – continued to approve weapons sales to the Saudi and Emirati militaries.US officials realized as far back as 2016 that senior Saudi and UAE leaders were not interested in reducing civilian deaths in Yemen,according to two members of the Obama administration who gave little-noticed testimony before Congress in early March.

Speaking to the House subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and international terrorism, the former officials – Dafna Rand, an ex-deputy assistant secretary of state, and Jeremy Konyndyk,the former director of the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance – outlined how US officials helped the Saudis choose their targets in Yemen,

Saudi and allied warplanes have conducted more than 20,000 airstrikes on Yemen since the war began,an average of 12 attacks a day according to the Yemen Data Project.Only about a third of these attacks are on military targets,The coalition has also bombed hospitals,schools,markets,mosques,farms,factories,bridges and power and water treatment plants.

One of the most persistent false arguments advanced by Trump administration officials against efforts to end US involvement in Yemen is that the Saudis need American support and training to prevent even more civilians deaths.But the latest UN report belies that argument,showing the Saudis have not done any credible investigations into their attacks on civilians or taken enough measures to minimize casualties,even with US and British training.The latest UN investigation, which found the US is likely complicit in war crimes,should give new momentum to the majority in Congress that wants to end American involvement in a disastrous conflict.

From a report by Mohamad Bazzi.


By: SLV (478.90)

Tags: Yemen, Iran, Syria, USA, Saudi, War Crimes.