A new report by Amnesty International reveals that precision-guided bombs made by the United States have been used in Saudi-led deadly airstrikes against civilians in Yemen, saying that the US, the UK and France, which provide arms to the Riyadh regime, are complicit in war crimes committed by the kingdom during the war.
In a report on Wednesday, the UK-based rights group said that the ordnance, manufactured by US company Raytheon, were used in a June airstrike on Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz that killed six people, including three children.
The rights group analyzed photographs of the remnants of the weapon dug out from the site of the strike by family members, concluding that the bomb that hit a residential building was a US-made 500 pound (230kg) GBU-12 Paveway II.
“It is unfathomable and unconscionable that the USA continues to feed the conveyor belt of arms flowing into Yemen’s devastating conflict,” said Rasha Mohamed, Amnesty’s Yemen researcher.
Mohamed lashed out at the US, the UK and France for supplying arms to the Saudi-led coalition, holding them accountable for “human rights violations” and “war crimes” in Yemen.”Despite the slew of evidence that the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition has time and again committed serious violations of international law, including possible war crimes, the USA and other arms-supplying countries such as the UK and France remain unmoved by the pain and chaos their arms are wreaking on the civilian population,” she said.
“Intentionally directing attacks against civilians or civilian objects, disproportionate attacks and indiscriminate attacks that kill or injure civilians are war crimes,” she added.
She said that the Western trio “share responsibility for these violations,” by “knowingly” supplying arms to the Saudi-led coalition.
“Arms-supplying states cannot bury their heads in the sand and pretend they do not know of the risks associated with arms transfers to parties to this conflict who have been systematically violating international humanitarian law,” she said.
Mohamed further called for a “comprehensive embargo on all weapons that could be used by any of the warring parties in Yemen.”
Since March 2015, when Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating Western-backed war on Yemen, Amnesty’s researchers have investigated dozens of airstrikes and repeatedly found and identified remnants of US-manufactured munitions.
According to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
The UN in February warned that the situation in war-ravaged Yemen is further deteriorating as the Arab country is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world.