Sunday, February 5, 2017
UN WARNS SAUDI ARMS SUPPLIERS OVER COMPLICITY IN YEMEN WAR CRIMES
A United Nations expert panel has concluded most Saudi airstrikes in Yemen over the past two years have deliberately targeted civilians and public infrastructure, and a human rights expert has told Sputnik they are hopeful the report could help halt the flow of arms to Riyadh.
The annual report, conducted by UN experts who monitor the conflict in Yemen, investigated 10 airstrikes conducted by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen between March and October 2016, which killed at least 292 civilians, of which around 100 were women and children. In eight of the 10 investigations, the panel found no evidence the airstrikes had targeted legitimate military objectives.
Moreover, in all 10 cases, the panel considers it almost certain the coalition did not meet international humanitarian law requirements of proportionality and precautions in the attacks and the attacks reflect a broader policy of attrition against civilian infrastructure, Sputnik reported
The panel concluded the attacks may amount to war crimes, and warn Riyadh's biggest arms suppliers — namely France, the UK and US — they are potentially complicit in them.
Kristine Beckerle, Yemen and Kuwait researcher at Human Rights Watch says the report was yet another pile of evidence to add to the existing mountain of documentation attesting to Saudi war crimes in Yemen.
"HRW has documented over 60 unlawful coalition airstrikes since the war started. Amnesty has documented dozens more. Another UN panel of experts released a report last year investigating over 100 airstrikes that appeared to violate the laws of war. At this point, anyone saying there's not enough evidence that the Saudi-led coalition has repeatedly violated international law, but continues to do so with essential impunity, is sticking their head in the sand," Beckerle told Sputnik.