The UK is still training the Saudi Air Force despite growing evidence of the Saudi-led coalition’s crimes against civilians in Yemen, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon admitted, replying to an MP’s question. The statement outraged the opposition.
Fallon was responding to the written questions asked by Stephen Doughty, Labor MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, on the UK involvement in the Yemen military intervention, when he admitted that “UK has provided training to the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) both in the UK and in Saudi Arabia,” in particular, to “improve their targeting processes” and ensure its better compliance with international law. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“Ridiculed for telling the truth, as has been the case for decades.”
Chief spokesman for Iran’s Armed Forces says the United States is the most important reason behind all the current problems in the Middle East, stressing that Washington must accept its strategic mistakes and leave the region.
“The root cause of all the problems in the West Asia region is the US hegemony,” Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said on Sunday.
He added that bloody wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, the continuation of the Israeli regime’s occupation of Palestine, the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in the 1980s, the Lebanese and Bahraini conflicts and other events that have killed and wounded thousands of people and left behind destruction are only some consequences of measures taken by the evil US government in the region. Continue reading »
(ANTIWAR) This week, the United States attacked and destroyed a series of radar stations belonging to the Shi’ite Houthis in Yemen, along the Red Sea coast. This was described as retaliation for the missiles fired sort of near a US destroyer off shore, and presented as preventing future such strikes.
Yet Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook admitted that the US still hasn’t actually made any determination who fired those missiles in the first place. It is unclear why they retaliated against the Houthis, who denied involvement, apart from Cook saying that the US believes Iran has “been supportive of the Houthi rebels.” Continue reading »
We can now put away any speculation whether the US will limit its support and arming of Saudi Arabia in its ongoing campaign over Yemen over “war crime” concerns.
Overnight, the U.S. military not only did not rebuke the Saudis for a military campaign that has claimed nearly 10,000 innocent civilian lives, but became the latest entrant in the Yemen offensive, when it launched cruise missile strikes on Thursday to knock out three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi forces, in what was supposedly a retaliation after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said.
Cited by Reuters, U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. Navy destroyer USS Nitze launched the Tomahawk cruise missiles around 4 a.m. (0100 GMT). The strikes, authorized by President Barack Obama, represent Washington’s first direct military action against suspected Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen’s conflict.
The US Navy released the following video of the airstrikes: Continue reading »
Russia’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, lost her cool in response to a Western journalist who asked her the question: “Why is Russia supporting Assad, who is killing civilians?” But even more incredible was the utter lack of response when US State Department officials were asked what the different between bombings in Syria and Saudi air strikes in Yemen.
While the US and western powers condemn Russian airstrikes conducted in Aleppo, to the point where yesterday John Kerry accused Russia of “crimes against humanity”, a parallel campaign waged by Saudi Arabia in Yemen gets little press coverage.
Perhaps as a test how far it can go without provoking a diplomatic rebuke, earlier today an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on mourners in Sanaa on Saturday killed at least 82 people, the acting health minister in the Houthi-led administration in the Yemeni capital said. Ghazi Ismail told a news conference in Sanaa the number of people wounded in the attack was 534, Reuters adds.
After 1st Saudi Airstrike on funeral in Yemen, people went in to rescue people, Saudi jets came back for 2nd and 3rd strikes pic.twitter.com/U7Z7WgDx6m
— Bassem (@BBassem7) October 8, 2016
The International Committee of the Red Cross said it had prepared 300 body bags. Hundreds of body parts were found inside and outside the hall after the strike. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“Move along, nothing to see here….the Rothschild’s don’t want to de-stabilise their tame House of Saud which oppresses the ordinary people of the Arabian Gulf States and does whatever the Rothschilds & Rockefellers say.”
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“Thanks to the US support of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, which has included not only the bomb recently used on a MSF hospital, but also supplies of white phosphorus, over 3,700 civilians have been killed and some 2.8 million displaced. Since coming to office seven years ago, the Obama administration has made over $115 billion worth of arms sales to the Saudis – more than any other US presidential administration.”
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The humanitarian calamity in Yemen entered a terrifying new phase of horror this month as air strikes on the capital city of Sanaa started again after a five-month lull.
Planes from the Saudi-led coalition bombarded the city following the collapse of peace talks in Kuwait. The assaults are destroying civilian infrastructure, and threaten to prevent food and desperately needed aid from reaching the capital.
A young girl undergoes hospital treatment in Sadaa (Mohammed Al-Mikhlafi/MEE)
Many of the attacks seem to have been indiscriminate. At least 16 people, all of them said to have been women and children, died when a potato crisp factory was struck.
The nearest military post was more than one kilometre away and a friend of the owner told us that there was no military activity on the site.
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While Obama was golfing in the midst of another Louisiana natural disaster, and is set to end his vacation so he can do what is truly important, support Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, Putin has been busy making new friends: first he did the seemingly impossible, having rekindled relations with Turkey to the point where Ankara itself is warning it may quit NATO to seek “military cooperation” with Russia, followed quickly by strengthening relations with Iran so that Moscow can now use an Iranian airbase to strike ISIS, much to the angry dismay of the US and the United Nations, the latest stunning pivot toward Russia comes from yet another civil war-torn nation, Yemen, whose former president, Abdullah Saleh, said its newly-formed governing council could work with Russia to “fight terrorism” by allowing Moscow use of the war-torn country’s military bases.
What makes the announcement even more striking is that Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s ex-president who was toppled by mass protests in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring launched by none other than the US when it “intervened” in Libya and Egypt, was a former staunch counter-terrorism ally of the US; it is this former US ally who told state-owned channel Russia 24 that Yemen was ready to grant Moscow access to air and naval bases.
“In the fight against terrorism we reach out and offer all facilities. Our airports, our ports… We are ready to provide this to the Russian Federation,” Saleh said in an interview in Sanaa. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“A new high point for American Hypocrisy.
The US reaches new levels in corruption, incompetence and hypocrisy every week.”
Monday’s bombing by the Saudi-led coalition of yet another Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) hospital in Yemen, which killed 11 people and wounded at least 19 more, earned a rare admonition of the Saudis by the U.S. State Department.
Doctors Without Borders has announced that it is withdrawing from northern Yemen due to what it called “indiscriminate bombings and unreliable reassurances” from the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in the country.
The medical aid group, known by its French acronym MSF, said an attack on a hospital it supported in the area had killed 19 people and wounded 24 on Monday – a higher death toll after some of the wounded had died. Earlier, 11 were reported killed. Continue reading »
At least ten children have been killed and almost thirty injured in north-western Yemen, Doctors Without Borders said after a reported airstrike on a religious school.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Twitter that at least ten school children have been left dead and 28 injured in Yemen’s Saada province.
— أطباء بلا حدود-اليمن (@msf_yemen) August 13, 2016
Al-Alam News Network and Iran’s Tasnim news agency said some 50 school children were killed. Continue reading »
Between the year and a half Saudi war against Yemen not achieving the expected quick victory, and the growing talk of war crimes as the civilian death toll from Saudi airstrikes soars, a lot of nations would be looking to distance themselves from the disastrous failure. Not the US, however, as they brag up their escalating support for the Saudi air war.
The newest data, released by Central Command, reveals that US refueling operations in Yemen are up some 60% over the past six months, a span of time which included a long ceasefire and failed peace talks. The Saudis never stopped bombing though, and the US never stopped facilitating. Continue reading »
Banned UK-manufactured cluster bombs have been found in a Yemeni village targeted in Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, leading to calls for the UK to come clean on its weapon sales and military support to Saudi Arabia.
The unexploded BL-755 cluster bomb is designed to be dropped from the UK-made Tornado aircraft used by the Saudi Air Force. It was found in a village in the north of the conflict-torn Gulf nation.
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Yemen — A child has been killed or maimed every four hours in the year since Saudi-led airstrikes began in Yemen — a sevenfold increase over the previous year. Though this is likely a tragic underestimation of the true number, nearly one-third of all civilian casualties are children.
The issue of arms sales to Saudi Arabia by Western countries has always been a contentious topic in some circles.
At the conceptual level, something seems inherently wrong with selling advanced weapons to a government that promotes an ultra puritanical form of Islam that sanctions gruesome executions and treats women as second class citizens. Throw in the fact that Riyadh actively seeks to export this very same poisonous ideology and there’s a moral case to be made for not signing arms deals with what amounts to a terror state where the only claim to legitimacy is oil wealth. Continue reading »
“So let’s see if we’ve got this straight. Over the course of 119 discrete sorties, Saudi Arabi bombed refugee camps, weddings, civilian cars, buses, people’s homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, residential neighborhoods, an Oxfam warehouse, treated “entire cities as military targets,” and chased after fleeing civilians with attack helicopters.”
In March, Saudi Arabia’s air campaign in Yemen will enter its second year.
Riyadh began flying combat missions last year in an effort to rollback the Iran-backed militiamen who drove Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi into exile. The results of the strikes have been mixed. The Houthis were driven from Aden but the fight for Sana’a is far from over. Continue reading »
Saada, Yemen — In the latest of a mounting number of similar cases, a Saudi airstrike killed at least eighteen people on Thursday — including a Doctors Without Borders/Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF)-affiliated ambulance that had just arrived on the scene to aid victims from a previous strike.
It should be noted the Saudi-led coalition has been accused multiple times, including less than two weeks ago, of employing U.S.-made weapons — including internationally-banned cluster bombs — to attack civilians. The U.S., itself, has been waging a heavy drone campaign in the war-ravaged nation — two people were killed on Tuesday by a U.S. drone — and a report in September proved U.S. drones have been responsible for more civilian deaths than even al-Qaeda.
(MiddleEastEye) A missile strike on a Doctors Without Borders clinic in Yemen killed at least four people on Sunday, the group said, condemning what it called a “worrying pattern” of such attacks. The raid was the third of its kind in four months in the war-ravaged country, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling Houthis who have seized territory from the internationally-recognised government.
It also follows a US strike in Afghanistan on a facility run by the Paris-based medical humanitarian organisation, known by its French acronym MSF, which killed 42 people in October. Continue reading »
Cluster munitions sold to Saudi Arabia by the US were used in attacks on residential neighborhoods in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said, calling for an international inquiry into the alleged war crime.
Saudi-led coalition forces seriously violated the laws of war by airdropping the “indiscriminate weapon” on populated areas in the Yemeni capital on January 6, HRW said in a report published on Thursday.
“The coalition’s repeated use of cluster bombs in the middle of a crowded city suggests an intent to harm civilians, which is a war crime,” HRW arms director Steve Goose said, adding that these attacks are “outrageous.” Continue reading »
Saudi Arabia, the recently crowned head of a UN human rights panel and close U.S. government ally, has now bombed two wedding parties in Yemen in just over a week. Yes, you read that right.
SANA, Yemen — Airstrikes by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia hit a house south of the capital on Wednesday, killing at least 23 people who were attending a wedding party, said witnesses and a local medical worker.
The attack was the second airstrike on a wedding in Yemen in a little over a week, and it added to growing criticism over the coalition’s air campaign, which has killed more than 1,100 civilians over the past six months, according to the United Nations. Continue reading »