Amnesty International warned that hundreds of Yemenis have become victims of reckless arms sales by the US and its allies to Saudi Arabia, whose coalition has indiscriminately used Western weapons in its 3-year war on the Arab impoverished country.
The human rights watchdog said it has analyzed numerous instances in which Yemeni civilians, including women and children, were killed or injured by the Saudi-led coalition’s aircraft, adding that in all known cases, US-made ammunition has been used against civilian targets, which potentially amounted to war crimes.
“There is extensive evidence that irresponsible arms flows to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have resulted in enormous harm to Yemeni civilians,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Director of Research for the Middle East.
This, she posited, “has not deterred the USA, the UK and other states, including France, Spain and Italy, from continuing transfers of billions of dollars’ worth of such arms.”
Irresponsible arms deliveries have not only devastated civilian lives, but also make “a mockery” of the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty – which seeks to establish ethical standards and legal limits for trading weapons and ammunition – to which the US and many European states are signatories, Amnesty pointed out.
The report said that since the start of the Yemeni conflict in 2015, the human rights group has documented 36 coalition airstrikes that appear to have violated international humanitarian law, many of which may amount to war crimes. At least 513 civilians were killed in those air raids, including at least 157 children.
The damning report comes on the third anniversary of the Saudi aggression Yemen and on the back of new arms flows going to the Saudi kingdom. Just on Wednesday, Donald Trump treated Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman with pictures of US-made weapons systems, showing a sign that read “12.5 billion in finalized sales to Saudi Arabia.”