Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Saudi Airstrikes on Yemen Deliberately Target Civilians

Saudi Airstrikes on Yemen Deliberately Target Civilians

by Stephen Lendman

On January 27, London’s Guardian cited a UN panel investigating its terror-bombing found “widespread and systematic” attacks on civilians and civilian-related targets - horrendous war crimes by any standard.

The Guardian said evidence uncovered raises disturbing questions about Britain supplying Riyadh with heavy weapons.

US and UK military personnel select targets to be struck - including hospitals, schools, refugee camps, food storage areas, mosques, markets where Yemenis shop, and other nonmilitary sites, committing mass atrocities with impunity.

Security Council members have the UN report. So far it’s unpublished, the Guardian managing to get a copy.

Human rights groups and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called its contents disturbing. Corbyn wants an immediate inquiry and halt of British arms sales.

Prime Minister David Cameron is a serial liar, complicit in high crimes - duplicitously claiming Britain has strict rules governing arms sales, Saudi and other rogue states major buyers, getting heavy weapons used for waging war without mercy, murdering civilians in cold blood.

A damning report finding minced no words, saying:

“The panel documented that the coalition had conducted airstrikes targeting civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international humanitarian law, including camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure, such as the airport in Sana’a, the port in Hudaydah and domestic transit routes.”

“The panel documented 119 coalition sorties relating to violations of international humanitarian law.”

The Guardian said UK officials “confirmed that British forces have been in the Saudi command and control centre for the strikes on Yemen, but denies that the forces have an operational role.”

False! Yemen is Obama’s war, Washington orchestrating things, Saudi-led “coalition” warplanes striking US-chosen targets, Britain now supplying its own, the UN report explaining, saying:

“Many attacks involved multiple airstrikes on multiple civilian objects. Of the 119 sorties (with documented human rights violations), the panel identified 146 targeted objects. (It) also documented three alleged cases of civilians fleeing residential bombings and being chased and shot at by helicopters.”

Likely tens of thousands of civilians died since Riyadh’s aggression began last March, victims of imperial viciousness - US and UK-supplied “air-launched explosive weapons” alone killing many thousands.

The report bluntly said Saudi-led coalition terror-bombing “of civilians,” including residential areas where they live, “is a grave violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution. In certain cases, the panel found such violations to have been conducted in a widespread and systematic manner.”

“Holding perpetrators of violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law to account is fundamental and necessary for tackling impunity and deterring future violations in Yemen.”

Satellite imagery “revealed extensive damage to residential areas and civilian objects…”

UK Human Rights Watch director David Mepham said UN findings “flatly contradict repeated statements made by British ministers about the actions of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.”

They willfully lied, claiming no evidence of war crimes. Amnesty International’s Allan Hogarth said “(t)housands of civilians have already died and it’s been utterly dismaying to see Downing Street brushing aside extremely serious concerns about the reckless conduct of Saudi Arabia in this devastating conflict.”

Damning UN evidence is one thing, accountability something else, Ban Ki-moon and other high-level UN officials doing nothing to demand it - nor have world leaders.

Yemenis suffer and die daily, no end to their ordeal in sight.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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