HEADLINES

Yemen: HRW Says US-Coalition Fails To Investigate Airstrikes

Published on November 26, 2015. Human Rights Watch.

what military target was in my brothers house

US Could Share Responsibility for Indiscriminate Attacks. The Saudi Arabia-led coalition carrying out attacks against the Houthis in Yemen has failed to investigate its apparently unlawful airstrikes that have killed hundreds of civilians, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued today. The United States is also obligated to investigate attacks in which it played a role that allegedly violated the laws of war.

The 73-page report, “‘What Military Target Was in My Brother’s House?’: Unlawful Coalition Airstrikes in Yemen,” examines in detail 10 apparently unlawful coalition airstrikes that killed at least 309 civilians and wounded more than 414 between April and August 2015. (Read a summary of the attacks by Alistair Reign)

According to the United Nations, most of the 2,600 civilian deaths since the coalition began its military campaign against the Houthis in late March have been from coalition airstrikes. Human Rights Watch is unaware of any investigations by Saudi Arabia, other coalition members, or the US into these or other allegedly unlawful strikes, or of any compensation for victims or their families.

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition carrying out attacks against the Houthis in Yemen has failed to investigate its apparently unlawful airstrikes that have killed hundreds of civilians. The United States is also obligated to investigate attacks in which it played a role that allegedly violated the laws of war.

The coalition’s unwillingness to conduct even a single investigation of numerous potentially unlawful airstrikes is appalling,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “While the coalition may have sophisticated weaponry and US support, its commitment to the laws of war is rudimentary at best.

Human Rights Watch conducted field research in the governorates of Ibb, Amran, Hajja, Hodaida, Taizz, and the capital, Sanaa, and spoke to victims, witnesses, and medical staff. Airstrikes hit homes, markets, a factory, and a civilian prison, though in all of these cases, Human Rights Watch either found no evident military target or found that the attack failed to distinguish civilians from military objectives.

Human Rights Watch compiled the names of 309 people – 199 men, 43 women, and 67 children – killed in the attacks, all believed to be civilians. Saudi officials have not responded to repeated Human Right Watch requests for information about the 10 airstrikes.

yemen1115_map-airstrikes

When I got to the house, there was still dust in the air, and everything was covered in a layer of black ash,” said Muhammad Saleh al-Qihwi, whose house was destroyed in an April 2015 airstrike on the town of Amran.

Asma’s head was open, and her leg was bleeding. Her 2-year-old daughter, Hyam, was lying on her shoulder, her head was smashed open. Her other daughter, Hasna, who’s 7, was shouting ‘Baba’ [father]. Her hair and skin were covered in ash, and she was burned badly. Her father, my brother Muhammad, had been asleep when the strike happened, and the roof landed on top of him. When I dug him out, there was a thin trickle of blood dripping from his ear. He was already dead.

  • In September 2014, Ansar Allah, commonly known as the Houthis, a Zaidi Shia group from northern Yemen, took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.
  • In January 2015, they effectively ousted President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi and his cabinet members, who subsequently relocated to Saudi Arabia.
  • The Houthis, along with elements of the armed forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, then swept south, threatening to take the port city of Aden.
Saudi defence minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz (R) and interior minister Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz (C) meet with Saudi airforce officers in Riyadh to discuss plans for the coalition's military operations in Yemen. Saudi Press Agency/Handout/AFP Photo

Saudi defence minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz (R) and interior minister Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz (C) meet with Saudi airforce officers in Riyadh to discuss plans for the coalition’s military operations in Yemen. (Saudi Press Agency/Handout/AFP Photo)

On March 26, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition – consisting of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Sudan – with US participation, began an aerial campaign against Houthi and allied forces.

The US is a party to the conflict, playing a direct role in coordinating military operations, Human Rights Watch said. Lt. Gen. Charles Brown, commander of the US Air Force Central Command, said that the US military has deployed dedicated personnel to the Saudi Arabian center planning airstrikes to help coordinate activities, the Wall Street Journal reported.

US participation in specific military operations, such as aerial refueling during bombing raids, may make US forces jointly responsible for laws-of-war violations by coalition forces. As a party to the conflict, the US is obligated to investigate allegedly unlawful attacks in which it took part.

The United Kingdom and France have supported the coalition by selling arms to Saudi Arabia and other coalition members. The US recently announced the sale of aerial bombs to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

  • Under the laws of war, a party to the conflict may only attack military objectives.
  • In carrying out attacks, warring parties are required to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects.
  • The weapons used and the manner in which the attack is carried out must be able to distinguish between the military objective and civilians.
  • Attacks in which there is no evident military target, that are indiscriminate, or that cause civilian harm disproportionate to the anticipated military gain, are unlawful.

Parties must also avoid deploying in densely populated areas and remove, to the extent feasible, civilians in the vicinity of their military forces. In several instances it is not clear if the Houthis or allied forces had taken significant measures to move civilians away from places where they stored ammunition or deployed their forces.

Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division,

Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division.

Human Rights Watch is also concerned by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s use of explosive weapons with wide-area effect in populated areas. A weapon that affects an area in a radius of dozens or hundreds of meters of its impact will almost certainly kill or wound civilians if used in populated areas.

The UN Security Council should remind all parties to the conflict in Yemen that violators of human rights law and the laws of war may be subject to travel bans and asset freezes, Human Rights Watch said. The UN Human Rights Council should create an independent, international investigative mechanism to investigate alleged violations of the laws of war by all parties to the conflict.

“The UN Security Council and Human Rights Council have sat idly by while coalition bombs are killing civilians,” Stork said. “They need to mandate the investigations that the parties responsible for these apparently unlawful attacks have been unwilling to undertake.”

Human Rights Watch: Yemen: Coalition Fails to Investigate Unlawful Airstrikes 

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • Refugee-girl-cries-as-her-Central-American-shanty-town-is-destroyed-0714-by-Spencer-Platt
  • People searched for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by an airstrike in Sana, Yemen, on June 12. (Photo: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters) alistairreignblog.com
  • A question I have been asked many times since I began covering the humanitarian crisis in Yemen; who is taking care of the war orphans in Yemen? It appears the world has forgotten them, perhaps because they are not considered refugee orphans, nobody is paying attention to the gross crimes against these little ones - committed at the hands of an invading regime - Saudi Arabia.. children isleep nside a pitt in the ground, it is now normal for adults to put children to sleep in a large hole to ptotect child from snipers andcluster bombs that spray shrapnel Yemen.
  • The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) will receive $20 million – under the Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF) – to establish and operate the Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies. January 13, 2006. (Photo: Adam Scotti). AlistairReignBlog.com
  • A malnourished child lies on a weighing machine at a therapeutic feeding Centre at Al Sabyeen hospital in Sana’a. (Reuters)
  • A U.S. Marine Corps recruit with Company F, 2d Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, provides security aboard Edson Range, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 25, 2016. The recruit simulated providing security while the rest of the recruits carried ammo cans to their fighting holes to simulate combat preparation. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps by Lance Cpl. Erick J. ClarosVillalta).
  • Souhayla, a 16-year-old girl who escaped the Islamic State after three years of captivity, at her uncle’s home in Shariya Camp, Iraq. Credit Alex Potter for The New York Times
  • Faces of the women who had their lives cut short by Pickton.
  • Women to be placed on Canadian bank notes. Merna Forster helps prove that the adage is true, one voice can raise the voices of many. Forster is from British Columbia's provincial capital, Victoria, and her petition has brought about recognition to an overlooked wrong that required "righting" - and that she did with an impressive 73,402 signatures.
  • Geopolitics: Today's Yemen In One Map. Yemeni Civil War: The Territorial Control as of March 1st, 2016. In March, the Yemen’s embattled president Hadi fled Yemen by sea and arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, as Saudi Arabia and its allies launch military operations in Yemen to defend Hadi’s government.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomes Syrian refugees to Canada late Thursday night at Pearson International airport
  • UNICEF estimates nearly 400 children have been killed and over 600 injured in the past four months in the country, the poorest in the Middle East. 13 Yemeni teaching staff and four children were killed by a Saudi air strike on August 20. Two days before, coalition bombing in the Amran province took the lives of 17 civilians, injuring 20 more. UNICEF condemned what it called the “senseless bloodshed.” A Red Cross spokeswoman said the violence in Ta’iz, in southern Yemen, in just one day on August 21 left 80 people dead.
  • People light candles at the scene of a massive car bomb attack in Karada, a busy shopping district where people were shopping for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday, in the center of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016. More than 100 people died Sunday in a car bombing that the Islamic extremist militia group said it carried out, an official of the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • Who is PM Stephen Harper
  • Donald Trump and a Cheshire cat have the same smug smile.
  • In episode two he addresses the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the humanitarian catastrophe in the impoverished Republic of Yemen. Minhaj warns America to reconsider their attitude toward Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • Take Our Poll: Come on in and decide for yourself! Who worked the puffy white shirt best?
  • I hate Monday
  • Satire: USA Denies Whites Can Be Terrorist
  • Sesame Street - Grouch Apprentice with Donald Grump
  • Britney Spears Looking Hot in black leather in Toxic music video. who was sexiest? Britney in Toxic or Taylor Swift in Bad Blood
  • Way-back Machine: Who Vogue'd It Best? Take our poll at Alistair Reign News Blog: AlistairReignBlog.com

Start a Conversation or Write a Caption This joke.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.