This Amnesty International video says about itself:
11 December 2015
Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces have carried out a series of air strikes targeting schools that were still in use, in violation of international humanitarian law, and hampering access to education for thousands of Yemen’s children, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today. The coalition forces are armed by states including the USA and UK.
The briefing ‘Our kids are bombed’: Schools under attack in Yemen, investigates five air strikes on schools which took place between August and October 2015 killing five civilians and injuring at least 14, including four children, based on field research in Yemen. While students were not present inside the schools during the attacks, the strikes caused serious damage or destruction which will have long-term consequences for students.
“The Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched a series of unlawful air strikes on schools being used for educational – not for military – purposes, a flagrant violation of the laws of war,” said Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International who recently returned from Yemen.
“Schools are central to civilian life, they are meant to offer a safe space for children. Yemen’s young school pupils are being forced to pay the price for these attacks. On top of enduring a bitter conflict, they face longer term upheaval and disruption to their education – a potentially lifelong burden that they will be forced to shoulder.”
In some cases the schools were struck more than once, suggesting the strikes were deliberately targeted.
From daily The Independent in Britain today:
David Cameron accused of silently taking Britain into Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen
Britain is supplying military equipment, weapons, and advisors to Saudi Arabia
David Cameron has been accused of silently dragging Britain into another conflict in the Middle East without parliamentary approval or oversight.
Angus Robertson, the Scottish National Party’s leader at Westminster, said the Prime Minister should admit to British involvement in Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen – where the UK is providing arms, training and advice.
The call comes as new figures released by the Government show that British bomb and missile exports to Saudi Arabia have increased by 11,000 per cent from £9 million to £1 billion over three months last year.
Saudi Arabia has been accused of war crimes by human rights groups and the legality of British military assistance to the country has been questioned by campaigners.
“Thousands of civilians have been killed in Yemen, including a large number by the Saudi air force and they’ve done that using British-built planes, with pilots who are trained by British instructors, dropping British-made bombs, who are coordinated by the Saudis in the presence of British military advisors,” Mr Robertson said during Prime Minister’s Questions.
“Isn’t it time for the Prime Minister to admit that Britain is effectively taking part in a war in Yemen that is costing thousands of civilians’ lives and he has not sought parliamentary approval to do this?”
The Prime Minister rejected the suggestion that the UK was taking part in the conflict but admitted that British advisors had a role in Saudi Arabia.
“I think the Right Honourable Gentleman started in a serious place and then wandered off. It’s in our interest to back the legitimate government of Yemen. We have some of the most stringent arms control procedures of any country in the world,” he replied.
“But yes – do we provide advice, help and training in order to make sure that countries actually do obey the norms of humanitarian law? Yes we do.”
Saudi Arabia is intervening in Yemen to fight Houthi rebels, who control the country’s capital but are not internationally recognised as its government. The Kingdom was asked to join the conflict by the country’s Government, which has been pushed out of much of the country’s heartland.
Criticisms of the Saudi military operation have however included the bombing of multiple hospitals run by the charity Médecins Sans Frontières and the deaths of thousands of civilians, including 130 at a single wedding.
While international observers have recognised abuses on all sides, in late December UN human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein said that a “disproportionate” number of attacks of civilians in Yemen had come from the Saudi-led invasion force.
“I have observed with extreme concern the continuation of heavy shelling from the ground and the air in areas with high a concentration of civilians as well as the perpetuation of the destruction of civilian infrastructure – in particular hospitals and schools – by all parties to the conflict, although a disproportionate amount appeared to be the result of airstrikes carried out by Coalition Forces,” Mr Zeid said.
Human rights group Amnesty International UK has also accused the Government of ignoring “overwhelming evidence” of civilian targeting by the Saudi Arabian air force.
“Angus Robertson has raised an important point about the UK’s involvement in Saudi Arabia’s indiscriminate bombing campaign in Yemen, a campaign we’re told involves British advisers actually located in the Saudi ‘control room’,” said Allan Hogarth, the group’s head of Policy and Government Affairs.
“Thousands of Yemeni civilians have already been killed in a barrage of indiscriminate Saudi airstrikes in the country and whatever advice Britain has been giving to the Saudis has apparently done little to prevent this appalling death toll.
“Meanwhile, the UK is selling billions of pounds worth of weapons to the Saudis in the full knowledge of the grave risk that they’ll be used to kill Yemeni civilians.
“Instead of brushing aside Mr Robertson’s questions, the prime minister should immediately suspend export licences for all further UK arms bound for Saudi Arabia and allow a full investigation into allegations of serious breaches of international humanitarian law by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.”
See also here.