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]

‘United States soldiers kill scores of Yemeni civilians’

This video from Yemen says about itself:

YEMEN, December 2013, Field investigation

On 12 December 2013 at 4:30 pm, a wedding procession composed of 14 vehicles and 70 passengers was targeted by 4 missiles launched from a drone. Alkarama‘s representatives, accompanied by the head of the League of families of drone strikes victims visited location of the strike near Aqaba Za’j in the town of Wuld Rabi, a district of Radaa in al- Baydha Governorate in Yemen, and on 18 and 19 December 2013 met with families of victims and survivors of the strike. The delegation also visited the town of Yakla, where most of the victims originated from.

Like the autocratic government of Saudi Arabia (one of mainly Muslim countries which are NOT on Donald Trump’s refugee and immigrant ban list, though most 9/11 perpetrators were Saudi, jihadists in Syria get lots of Saudi money … but where Donald Trump has business interests) is not already killing and injuring more than enough Yemeni civilians

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

During a military attack by the United States in the south of Yemen dozens of people were killed. The action was [officially] aimed at al-Qaida. It was the first commando operation under the presidency of Donald Trump. …

According to local sources, dozens of civilians were killed. In addition, dozens of people were injured, including three US soldiers.

The attack was in the Yakla district in the southern province of al-Bayda and began with a drone strike

Last week the was the first drone attack in Yemen under Trump.

From Reuters news agency today:

Eight-year-old Anwar al-Awlaki … was among the children who died in the raid, according to her grandfather.

“She was hit with a bullet in her neck and suffered for two hours. Why kill children? This is the new administration – it’s very sad, a big crime,” Nasser al-Awlaki told Reuters.

‘Trump’s first raid in Yemen kills 14 men, 10 women, 3 children & 1 US soldier’, according to this tweet.

Trump, Obama and the future of targeted killing: here.

British government, stop helping Saudi war on Yemen

This video says about itself:

US-made bombs used in Saudi strikes on MSF hospital in Yemen – Amnesty

20 September 2016

The US must halt the shipping of weapons that could be used in the Yemen war, Amnesty International has urged in a new report, citing data that confirmed a US-made explosive was used in an attack on a Yemeni hospital on August 15.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Government to face the courts over Saudi sales

Saturday 28th January 2017

PEACE activists are taking the British government to court over its selling of arms to Saudi Arabia — an act they claim is illegal.

Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) argues that the government is in breach of its own regulations and acting illegally by granting licences to British arms manufacturers to sell weapons to the bloody monarchy state.

A three day hearing has been scheduled in the High Court from February 7, 8 and 9.

A Saudi-led coalition is currently bombing Yemen, where rebels have overthrown the unpopular Yemeni government.

In December the Gulf state admitted to using British-made cluster bombs, which are illegal under international law, against Yemeni civilians.

A spokesperson for CAAT said: “This landmark action could stop the sale of weapons which are contributing to appalling human suffering in Yemen, and it will expose the government’s entire approach to arms exports — an approach where human rights are sacrificed for arms company profits.

“It shouldn’t take legal action to make the government follow its own rules on arms sales. These rules say that sales should not be allowed when there is a clear risk that the items might be used in violations of international humanitarian law.

“Yet UK jets, bombs and missiles are playing a central role in attacks which have killed more than 10,000 people.”

The SNP also called yesterday for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen and urged the British government to rethink its arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh said: “The only way to prevent this unfolding humanitarian disaster deteriorating even further is to agree an immediate ceasefire.”

The UK’s century-long war against Yemen: here.