Saudi war crimes in Yemen


This 2016 video says about itself:

The US may be aiding war crimes in Yemen

12 December 2016

The U.S. is helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen and it’s a disaster.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

MoD tracing war crimes by Saudis

Friday 24th February 2017

Investigation opened into 257 humanitarian breaches in Yemen

THE British government is investigating hundreds of war crimes allegedly committed by the Saudi-led coalition in its ongoing bombardment of Yemen, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said yesterday.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said his department is looking at 257 alleged breaches of international humanitarian law committed during the bombing of Yemen which began in March 2015.

Mr Fallon refused to release details of the allegations saying: “Details of the MoD’s analysis of these allegations are necessarily confidential.”

Britain has licensed almost £3.3 billion in arms to the country since the Saudi-led coalition bombing campaign began almost two years ago.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin confirmed: “UK-built and licensed Typhoon and Tornado aircraft from the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) have been deployed on combat missions in the Yemen campaign.”

The United Nations estimate that 10,000 people have been killed during the conflict which has seen more than two-thirds of the Yemeni population left in need of humanitarian aid.

Much of the destruction has been blamed on Saudi Arabia’s indiscriminate air strikes which have seen homes and funerals targeted.

As a result the British government has faced repeated calls to halt its arms sales to the Gulf state. But the government claims that it is confident that the sales were “compliant with the UK export licensing criteria.”

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) lodged a judicial review over the legality of the government’s decision to continue licensing arms sales to Saudi Arabia which was heard in the High Court earlier this month. The outcome is expected in March.

CAAT spokesman Andrew Smith told the Star: “Saudi forces have shown a total disregard for international law.

“Whitehall has been totally complicit in the destruction. How many more abuses will need to happen before the government finally takes action and ends the arms sales?”

Saudi puppets in Yemen kill each other


This 14 August 2015 video shows United Arab Emirates people crying as UAE soldiers return from the Saudi war on Yemen in coffins.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Yemen: Clashes at Aden airport kill three militia fighters

Monday 13th February 2017

INFIGHTING between Saudi-backed militias broke out yesterday at an airport in the southern port city of Aden.

Riyadh-based exiled president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s presidential guard — backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — reportedly surrounded the airport after three days of fighting.

Helicopter gunships attacked the rival militia, killing three.

The militia have controlled the airport since the invasion in late 2015. They refused to hand over the airport to Hadi loyalists last week.

The UAE is a member of the Saudi-led coalition, and the only other nation with significant ground forces in the country.

Meanwhile in Somalia’s breakaway northern province Somaliland — which lacks international recognition — parliament voted to allow the UAE to build a military base there, across the Red Sea from Yemen.

The move, opposed by neighbouring Ethiopia and Djibouti, sparked vocal protests from nine MPs, who were removed.

More United States bloodshed in Yemen


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Administration Preparing for Deeper Involvement in Yemen

8 February 2017

The recent failed US Navy Seal raid shows that the Trump administration‘s plans for Yemen will contribute to making the horrific humanitarian crisis there worse, says CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin.

Donald Trump ‘to approve arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain’ blocked by Barack Obama. Former president blocked deals over concerns of human rights violations: here.

British government helps Saudi butchery of Yemeni civilians


This video says about itself:

Yemen crisis: one factory demolished, hundreds of jobs destroyed

6 February 2017

Following the publication of the ILO’s Yemen Damage and Needs Assessment: Crisis Impact on Employment and the Labour Market, we take a look at how the destruction of a Yemen ceramics factory – only one of numerous workplaces destroyed since the escalation of the crisis in 2015 – has led to the loss of hundreds of jobs, and increased the vulnerability of those who had relied on it for their livelihood.

By Felicity Collier in Britain:

Government in court over Saudi arms sales

Wednesday 8th February 2017

Court case to stop British weapons exports to Saudis begins

PEACE activists accused the government in the High Court yesterday of breaking the law by arming Saudi Arabia despite strong evidence that British-made weapons have been used to carry out war crimes in Yemen.

The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) said that fighter jets and bombs sold by Britain to the Gulf state have been used in an assualt on neighbouring Yemen, in which thousands of people have been killed.

The group opposes ministers’ refusal to suspend export licences as well as its decisions to grant new ones. More than £3.3 billion worth of arms have been licensed since the bombing in Yemen began of March 2015.

The campaign notes that Saudi Arabia is guilty of “repeated and serious breaches” of international humanitarian law. The three-day case will likely shine a light on the wider arms trade.

Under current British law, arms export licences cannot be granted if there is a clear risk that the weapons could be used to violate humanitarian law.

The government disputes that there is a “clear risk,” despite allegations that Saudi Arabia has purposefully targeted civilians in air raids.

CAAT said more than 10,000 people have been killed by a Saudi-led coalition intervening in the Yemeni civil war. The fighting has created a humanitarian crisis with 80 per cent of Yemenis in need of aid.

The hearing has started in open court, but a large part of the judicial review will take place behind closed doors so that secret evidence backing the government’s claims can be put to the judges.

Lord Justice Burnett and Mr Justice Haddon-Cave were told that the International Trade secretary Liam Fox, who is defending the government, is “relying considerably on sensitive material” that “would be damaging to national security,” if disclosed in an open court.

But Martin Chamberlain QC, appearing for CAAT, said that evidence against the government included reports and findings from organisations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam — which was enough to show that “no reasonable decision maker” could have allowed the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia to continue.

Mr Chamberlain said CAAT understood that the government was continuing to grant licences for military equipment to Saudi Arabia.

Pentagon-Saudi war on Yemen helps al-Qaeda


This video from the USA says about itself:

Deaths in U.S. Raids Enable Al-Qaeda’s Rising Influence in Yemen

4 February 2017

CODEPINK‘s Medea Benjamin says Trump will continue U.S. policy that enables Saudi Arabia to commit atrocities in the region.

Pentagon: ‘We didn’t kill Yemeni civilians … whoops … we did’


This video from the USA says about itself:

First Military Mission Under Trump Kills 8-Year-Old Girl

31 January 2017

In 2010, President Obama directed the CIA to assassinate an American citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime, and the agency successfully carried out that order a year later with a September, 2011 drone strike.

Read more here.

From the New York Times in the USA:

FEB. 1, 2017

WASHINGTON — Just five days after taking office, over dinner with his newly installed secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, President Trump was presented with the first of what will be many life-or-death decisions: whether to approve a commando raid that risked the lives of American Special Operations forces and foreign civilians alike.

President Barack Obama’s national security aides had reviewed the plans for a risky attack on a small, heavily guarded brick home of a senior Qaeda collaborator in a mountainous village in a remote part of central Yemen. But Mr. Obama did not act because the Pentagon wanted to launch the attack on a moonless night and the next one would come after his term had ended.

With two of his closest advisers, [his son-in-law] Jared Kushner and Stephen K. Bannon, joining the dinner at the White House along with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Mr. Trump approved sending in the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, hoping the raid early last Sunday would scoop up cellphones and laptop computers that could yield valuable clues about one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups. Vice President Mike Pence and Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser, also attended the dinner.

As it turned out, almost everything that could go wrong did. And on Wednesday, Mr. Trump flew to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be present as the body of the American commando killed in the raid was returned home, the first military death on the new commander in chief’s watch.

The death of Chief Petty Officer William Owens came after a chain of mishaps and misjudgments that plunged the elite commandos into a ferocious 50-minute firefight that also left three others wounded and a $75 million aircraft deliberately destroyed. There are allegations — which the Pentagon acknowledged on Wednesday night are most likely correct — that the mission also killed several civilians, including some children. The dead include … the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Qaeda leader who was killed in a targeted drone strike in 2011.

Mr. Trump on Sunday hailed his first counterterrorism operation as a success …

But the mission’s casualties raise doubts about the months of detailed planning that went into the operation during the Obama administration and whether the right questions were raised before its approval. Typically, the president’s advisers lay out the risks, but Pentagon officials declined to characterize any discussions with Mr. Trump. …

In this case, the assault force of several dozen commandos, which also included elite soldiers from the United Arab Emirates, was jinxed from the start. …

“They [the US soldiers] kind of knew they were screwed from the beginning,” one former SEAL Team 6 official said. …

The raid, some details of which were first reported by The Washington Post, also destroyed much of the village of Yakla, and left senior Yemeni government officials seething. Yemen’s foreign minister, Abdul Malik Al Mekhlafi,

of the Saudi Arabia and United States-backed government, basically a government in exile, but officially in charge of some areas occupied by Saudi coalition invasion forces

condemned the raid on Monday in a post on his official Twitter account as “extrajudicial killings.”

Baraa Shiban, a Yemeni fellow for Reprieve, a London-based human rights group, said he spoke by phone to a tribal sheikh in the village, Jabbr Abu Soraima, who told him: “People were afraid to leave their houses because the sound of choppers and drones were all over the sky. Everyone feared of being hit by the drones or shot by the soldiers on the ground.”

After initially denying there were any civilian casualties, Pentagon officials backtracked somewhat on Sunday after reports from the [Saudi and United States-backed] Yemeni authorities begin trickling in and grisly photographs of bloody children purportedly killed in the attack appeared on social media sites.

TRUMP’S YEMEN RAID MAY HAVE RESULTED IN MORE CIVILIAN DEATHS “U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.” On Wednesday, Trump greeted the plane carrying the remains of a SEAL Team 6 member who was killed during the mission. [Reuters]

See also here. And here.

YEMEN: NO MORE ANTI-TERROR RAIDS “Angry at the civilian casualties incurred last month in the first commando raid authorized by President TrumpYemen has withdrawn permission for the United States to run Special Operations ground missions against suspected terrorist groups in the country, according to American officials.” [NYT]