Conflicts in Saudi royal family

This 24 August 2018 video says about itself:

War in Yemen: Dozens of civilians killed in Saudi-UAE bombing

Houthi rebels say at least 30 people were killed in an air raid near Hodeidah, at least 20 of them children.

The latest civilian casualties come two weeks after an aerial bombardment that destroyed a school bus, killing 40 children.

Saudi Arabia declared the earlier attack an appropriate military strike …

The charity Save the Children has estimated that an average of 140 children have been killed every day since Saudi Arabia and the UAE began their bombing campaign … in Yemen.

Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher reports from neighbouring Djibouti.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Saudi Arabia‘s royal feud grows with king set to remove son as crown prince

TENSIONS within the Saudi royal family continued to escalate yesterday amid reports that King Salman is seeking to remove his son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince of the despotic Gulf state. …

King Salman has blocked the sale of 5 per cent of the Saudi state oil company Aramco, a deal which was central to Prince Mohammed’s plans for the kingdom to diversify its economy and become less reliant on oil revenue.

The king’s cancellation of the “Vision 2030” project has exposed deep divisions in the Saudi ruling class over the country’s future.

Prince Mohammed is seen as a central figure in the Saudi-led coalition’s three-year bombing campaign in Yemen, which has claimed at least 10,000 lives.

Global condemnation followed a recent attack on a school bus that killed at least 40 children. The United Nations launched a war crimes investigation and there were calls for the international community to stop providing arms to Saudi Arabia.

Other reports suggest that King Salman’s brother Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is considering going into self-imposed exile after criticising the war on Yemen earlier this week.

Speaking outside his London home, the prince told protesters not to blame the entire Saudi royal family for the devastation in the Middle East’s poorest country.

“There are certain individuals who are responsible. Don’t blame anyone else”, he said.

When pressed on who was to blame, he pointed the finger at “the king and the crown prince and others in the state”, adding: “In Yemen and elsewhere, our hope is that the war ends today before tomorrow.”

‘Stop British Conservative-Saudi monarchy war on Yemen’

This 17 August 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

EXCLUSIVE: Bomb that killed 40 kids in Yemen made in US

The bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in a devastating attack on a school bus in Yemen was sold as part of a US State Department-sanctioned arms deal with Saudi Arabia, munitions experts told CNN. Nima Elbagir reports.

By Sam Tobin in Britain:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Thornberry says government ‘making excuses’ on Yemen to keep arms trade alive

THE TORY government has been making excuses for the Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen to protect its “lucrative trade in arms”, Emily Thornberry said today.

In an emergency parliamentary debate, the shadow foreign secretary called on MPs “not to stay silent but to raise our voices ever louder” in the face of the ongoing war.

The United Nations estimates that, last month alone, the conflict killed or injured 981 civilians, including over 300 children.

Ms Thornberry told the Commons: “It seems as though no Saudi atrocity is too much and no Saudi behaviour cannot be excused so that the government’s inaction at the United Nations and its lucrative trade in arms can be allowed to continue.”

She called for an independent UN-led investigation into all allegations of war crimes in the conflict, plus the suspension of British arms sales for use in the conflict until the probe is complete.

Theresa May’s government should “at long last do its job as the pen holder on Yemen” at the UN security council and bring forward a new resolution obliging all sides to respect a ceasefire to allow peace talks and open access for humanitarian relief, Ms Thornberry added.

Labour MP Stephen Twigg, who chairs the international development committee, also called on ministers to condemn violence in the region more strongly and suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

“We need a strong, clear, firm condemnation by our government of these attacks”, he said.

Mr Twigg pointed out that Spain had recently cancelled an arms deal with Saudi Arabia “over concerns that these weapons are being used in the war in Yemen”, adding: “Can I once again today urge the government to look to suspend arms sales by the UK that could be used in Yemen?”

Tory former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell warned that the people of Yemen “know that the UK and the US are involved.”

He said it would be “hard to find a more eloquent and effective recruiting sergeant for those who wish to do us ill than the policy that is being pursued by our government.”

Spain stops selling bombs to Saudi Arabia

This 11 May 2018 video says about itself:

Children buried: Saudi strike in Yemen produces heartbreaking images

Six civilians are dead and another injured in Yemen after an airstrike said to be carried out by the Saudi-led coalition hit a family home. The rescue efforts produced dramatic and jarring images of children trapped under the rubble. RT America’s Dan Cohen has this report. WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Spain stops delivery of bombs to Saudi Arabia because of war in Yemen

Spain has halted the supply of bombs to Saudi Arabia because of concerns about their use in Yemen. The Spanish Ministry of Defense confirms the news to Spanish media, but does not publish any details.

Spain signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia in 2015 on the sale of 400 laser-controlled bombs. 9.2 million euros were paid for this. The Spanish government of Prime Minister Sánchez now wants to cancel the contract and return the money. According to Amnesty International, Spain is one of the main suppliers of war material to the Gulf state.

At least one improvement after the downfall of the corrupt right-wing minority government in Spain, succeeded by Sánchez’s social democratic minority government. Though it would have been still a bigger improvement if Sánchez would have scrapped the record expenses for militarism of his predecessors’ budget.

School bus

Saudi Arabia fights in the bloody Yemeni civil war in a coalition with Sunni alliesSaudi Arabia recently admitted that an air strike by the coalition on a school bus in Yemen, where dozens of children died last month, was not militarily justified.

Human rights organizations have condemned the sale of weapons by Western countries to Saudi Arabia for some time. … According to the United Nations, the war in Yemen, where more than 22 million people lack basic necessities, is currently the most serious humanitarian crisis in the world.

Saudi war crimes in Yemen, United Nations report

This 28 August 2018 British TV video says about itself:

Three experts working for the UN’s Human Rights Council have said the governments of Yemen,

that is, the Saudi puppet Yemeni government in exile

the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia may have been responsible for war crimes during its battle with Shia rebels.

The allegations include claims of rape, torture, disappearances and “deprivation of the right to life” during the three-and-a-half years of fighting against rebels known as Houthis, the experts said.

… The trio have also chronicled the damages from coalition air strikes, the single most lethal force in the fighting, over the last year.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

UN panel cites massive war crimes in US-backed war on Yemen

29 August 2018

A draft report prepared by a United Nations human rights panel has spelled out in detail the massive and savage war crimes that have been carried out against the people of Yemen in the three-year-old war waged by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with indispensable military and political backing from Washington.

The report was produced by the Group of Independent Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen, a body formed by the United Nations human rights council in September of last year with a year-long mandate to investigate human rights abuses in the impoverished and war-ravaged country.

The group’s formation represented a reversal for Riyadh and Washington, which had successfully fought off previous attempts to mount an investigation into the near-genocidal war against the Yemeni people. Nonetheless, the group of experts lacked even the limited power of a full-scale UN commission of inquiry to recommend prosecution for war crimes in the international criminal court.

The report attributes the vast majority of civilian casualties—which it places at 6,475 killed and 10,231 wounded, while admitting that the real toll is far higher—to Saudi air strikes that “have hit residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities.”

The report comes in the immediate wake of two horrific atrocities in the space of just two weeks that claimed the lives of at least 60 children and over a dozen others. The first took place on August 9, when a Saudi warplane launched a 500-pound bomb against a bus carrying students from their summer camp to a traditional end-of-summer ceremony, killing 40 children and at least 11 others. While Saudi officials denied responsibility for the attack, and the Pentagon claimed it was still investigating the matter, CNN reported from the scene that remains of the bomb dropped revealed it was made by the giant US arms contractor, Lockheed Martin.

This was followed by another murderous attack on women and children fleeing a neighborhood in the besieged port city of Hodeidah on August 23. A Saudi missile struck the truck in which they were riding, killing at least 22 children and four women.

As the report makes clear, these massacres are by no means an aberration.

The Group of Experts reviewed 60 cases in which Saudi air strikes were carried out against residential areas, killing more than 500 civilians, including 84 women and 233 children. It investigated 29 cases in which strikes were carried out against public spaces, including hotels, killing another 300 civilians. It reviewed 11 air strikes targeting marketplaces, killing and maiming hundreds more. It also probed bombing raids staged against funerals and weddings, most infamously the October 2016 attack on Al-Kubra Hall in the city of Sana’a during the funeral of the father of a senior official, which killed at least 137 civilians and injured 695.

Also investigated were air raids against detention facilities, civilian boats carrying both fishermen and refugees, and numerous medical facilities and ambulances as well as “educational, cultural and religious sites.”

The panel also cited the use by the Saudi warplanes of “double strikes”, in which a second attack is carried out against a target quickly after the first in order to kill first responders and others rushing to the scene to help the wounded.

The incidents cited in the report are by no means a comprehensive list of all the air strikes – estimated at over 18,000 – conducted against Yemen over the past three years, but only representative of the carnage that is taking place.

The report uses mealy-mouthed language that conceals the murderous campaign to force the Yemeni people to submit to Saudi domination. It questions the “targeting process” and the “effectiveness of precautionary measures” adopted to protect civilians by the Saudi-led coalition, and expresses “serious concerns about the respect of the principle of distinction” between military and civilian targets.

At the same time, it acknowledges that Saudi warplanes are employing US-supplied precision-guided munitions that “would normally indicate that the object struck was the target.”

Precisely. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies are carrying out a protracted and deliberate massacre of a largely defenseless Yemeni population.

Also cited as a “violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law”, i.e., a war crime, are the Saudi-led and US-backed “de facto blockades” of Yemen’s borders, as well as its sea ports and airports.

“The impact of these developments on the civilian population has been immense”, the report states, referring to the blockades. “The accessibility of food and fuel has significantly declined, due to increased costs of bringing goods to markets. These costs have been passed on to consumers, rendering the limited goods available unaffordable for the majority of the population. The problem has been exacerbated by the [Saudi puppet] Government [in exile]’s non-payment of public sector salaries, affecting one quarter of the population, since August 2016. The effects of the price increases coupled with the erosion of their purchasing power have been disastrous for the population.”

As a result, the report adds, “As of April 2018, nearly 17.8 million people were food insecure and 8.4 million were on the brink of famine. Health-care facilities were not functioning, clean water was less accessible and Yemen was still suffering from the largest outbreak of cholera in recent history.”

The blockade has also prevented people from seeking medical treatment that they are unable to secure inside Yemen. Last August, the Ministry of Health in Sana’a reported that 13,000 Yemenis had died from health conditions that could have been treated if the Saudis had not shut down the country’s airports. Just this week, the health minister issued an appeal to suspend the blockade so that victims of the recent bombings, including badly wounded children, could travel to hospitals abroad.

The report also cites as war crimes the systematic forced disappearances, arbitrary detention and systematic torture and rape of Yemenis taken into custody by the Saudi-led coalition, in particular military forces deployed in the country by the UAE.

“At Bir Ahmed Prison, forces of the United Arab Emirates raided the facility and perpetrated sexual violence”, the report states. “In March 2018, nearly 200 detainees were stripped naked in a group while personnel of the United Arab Emirates forcibly examined their anuses. During this search, multiple detainees were raped digitally and with tools and sticks.”

In addition, detainees have been “beaten, electrocuted, suspended upside down, drowned, threatened with violence against their families and held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods.”

The report also cites the rampant torture and rape of refugees, particularly Somalis and Eritreans, at the hands of Security Belt Forces, comprised of Islamist militias deployed by the Saudi-led coalition on Yemen’s borders.

The report concludes that the panel of experts “has identified, where possible, individuals who may be responsible for international crimes, and the list of individuals has been submitted” to the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights.

There is no indication, however, that this list includes the names of individual political and military officials without whose participation the war in Yemen would have been impossible. These would include Barack Obama, Donald Trump, James Mattis, Gen. Joseph Votel and many others in the top ranks of the Pentagon and CIA, as well as the Democratic and Republican parties.

The only oblique reference to Washington’s role is a recommendation that the “international community … refrain from providing arms that could be used in the conflict in Yemen.”

US support for the Saudi-led war, initiated under Obama, has included not merely supplying the tens of billions of dollars’ worth of US weaponry that has been turned on the Yemeni people, but also indispensable collaboration by the Pentagon in providing mid-air refueling for Saudi warplanes, without which they could not carry out their murderous bombing raids. A joint logistical center has been set up in Riyadh to supply US intelligence for Saudi strikes and, since last December, US special operations troops have been secretively deployed on the ground to aid Saudi forces.

The White House and the Pentagon have no intention of halting their participation in the Yemen war, which they see as part of a region-wide campaign to roll back Iranian influence and establish US hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East.

This was made clear Tuesday by Defense Secretary Mattis at a Pentagon press conference at which he dismissed the recent atrocities that claimed the lives of over 60 children. He claimed that the US was working with the Saudis to reduce civilian casualties, but “we recognize we are not going to achieve perfection.” He referred to the bus full of children blown to bits by an American bomb as a “dynamic target.”

The UN’s “experts” make no pretense of holding Washington accountable for the war crimes in Yemen, just as the international body has done nothing to bring to justice the US officials responsible for the series of wars, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya and Syria, that have claimed the lives of millions and turned tens of millions into refugees.

In any genuine accounting for the slaughter in Yemen, as well as the wider sociocide carried out by US imperialism throughout the Middle East, figures like Mattis, … Trump, et al., would be standing in the dock like the surviving leaders of Hitler’s Third Reich in Nuremberg.

Settling accounts with Washington’s war criminals is the task of the American working class, united in struggle with the working people of the Middle East and the entire planet.

U.S. Planning to Train Saudi Pilots on American Soil, Report Finds: here.

US-backed forces led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates renewed their assault on Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeidah on Wednesday, carrying out as many as 60 airstrikes on the densely populated city. Saudi-backed mercenary ground forces have reportedly cut off the main road linking Hodeidah with the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, threatening to cut off food and medical imports upon which at least 22 million people, three-quarters of the population, depend. An estimated eight million Yemenis—a number equivalent to the entire population of Switzerland—are already confronting famine: here.

Saudi regime whitewashing their Yemen war crimes

This video says about itself:

Breaking News – UN condemns Yemen strike that hit children

24 August 2018

UN condemnation after 22 children killed in Yemen strike.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Saturday, 25 August 2018

HUMAN Rights Watch has indicted a so-called investigatory body, overseen by Saudi Arabia, which has for more than two years been covering up war crimes committed by the kingdom in Yemen.

The rights organisation released a 90-page analysis on the investigative work of the body, known as the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT), which is made up of officials from the countries involved in the murderous military ‘coalition’ fighting the Yemeni people. The criminals are investigating themselves and exonerating themselves for the crimes that they are committing against the Yemeni people on a daily basis!

Riyadh launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s former president and a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement. The vast majority of the investigatory body’s so-called probes in Yemen, according to HRW, concluded that any strikes on civilian targets were ‘unintentional outcomes of legitimate military operations.’

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said ‘the investigators are doing little more than covering up war crimes.’ At least 31 civilians, mostly children, were killed after a Saudi airstrike hit their vehicle in Yemen’s Hudaydah province on Thursday, only two weeks after a strike by the kingdom hit a school bus in the impoverished country and killed scores of Yemeni children.

Whitson warned countries selling arms to Saudi Arabia, including the United States and the UK, that the ‘sham investigations do not protect them from being complicit in serious war crimes.’ British officers are believed to have been seconded to the Saudi armed forces and are actually directing the atrocities!

Many workers and trade unions in the US and the UK are opposed to their ruling classes’ war crimes in the Yemen and are demanding that the UK and US governments stop supplying Saudi Arabia and its allies with the most modern arms, intelligence and the aerial refuelling of warplanes operating in Yemen. More than 14,700 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of the Saudi invasion with their weapons.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed concern over reports of death sentences for human rights activists in Saudi Arabia, saying his country will continue to stand up against human rights violations in the kingdom. ‘We have expressed our concern with the sentence handed down by Saudi Arabia, our concern for defending human rights and our shared values all around the world’, Trudeau said on Thursday.

Human rights groups say Riyadh is seeking the death penalty for five Saudi human rights activists, including Israa al-Ghomgham, a Saudi woman, for the first time. They are accused of inciting protests in the kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern Province. Rights groups say the execution threat is aimed at stifling dissent.

There have been no condemnations from the US or UK against these projected murders. There is an axis of evil in the Middle East and it is made up of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain (where a dock is being built to hold the huge UK aircraft carriers that are being built), the UK, the US

Less Than 24 Hours After Senate Rejected Effort to Curb Slaughter, 26 More Children Killed by US-Backed Bombing in Yemen: here.

At least 22 children and four women were killed by Saudi air strikes in Yemen on Thursday as the US-backed coalition continues its onslaught on the port city of Hodeidah and surrounding areas. The latest atrocities came just two weeks after a Saudi aircraft dropped an American-supplied bomb on a school bus in the northern town of Dahyan, killing 40 children and injuring more than 50: here.