UN Condemns US-backed Saudi Bombings in Yemen
December 24, 2015
Sputnik News & Abby Martin / teleSUR
The Saudi Arabian-led military campaign in Yemen has received more international condemnation after UN officials told the Security Council that the coalition was responsible for a "disproportionate amount" of attacks on civilian areas. Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, the UN's Commissioner for Human Rights, told the UN Security Council that he had "observed with extreme concern" incidents of heavy shelling in areas with high concentrations of civilians.
Saudi Coalition Responsible for 'Disproportionate' Attacks in Yemen -- UN
(December 22, 2015) – The Saudi Arabian-led military campaign in Yemen has received more international condemnation after UN officials told the Security Council that the coalition was responsible for a "disproportionate amount" of attacks on civilian areas.
Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, the UN's Commissioner for Human Rights, told the UN Security Council that he had "observed with extreme concern" incidents of heavy shelling in areas with high concentrations of civilians.
Al Hussein said that he had witnessed both air and ground attacks that had led to the destruction of a wide range of non-military buildings such as schools and hospitals.
While saying all parties were responsible for civilian suffering, he added that "a disproportionate amount appeared to be the result of air strikes carried out by coalition forces."
The comments are the latest in the international condemnation of the Saudi-led campaign, which has the backing of nine Middle Eastern and African states, along with political support from Britain and the US, with Washington offering logistical assistance to Riyadh.
It is estimated that more than 2,600 civilians have been killed since fighting broke out in March, with a UN report in September concluding that two-thirds of civilian deaths "had allegedly been caused by coalition airstrikes, which were also responsible for almost two-thirds of damaged or destroyed civilian public buildings."
On top of civilian deaths, the coalition has also been accused of committing war crimes in Yemen through the bombing of residential areas, while western allies such as Britain and the US have been accused of complicity and joint responsibility in the alleged crimes and civilian deaths.
NGO Human Rights Watch (HWR) accused the US of being complicit in 300 illegal civilian deaths in Yemen through its logistical support for operations, while there are calls for the UK and France to halt the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.
Despite the pressure from the UN and non-government organizations, Saudi Arabia's western allies have so far refused to reign in their relationship with Riyadh, arguing that the operation in Yemen is key to defeating the Houthi rebel group and returning the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power.
Saudi-Led Coalition Killed 60 Civilians
While Bombing Yemen in Fall
(December 21, 2015) -- According to the Human Rights Watch, the coalition led by Saudi Arabia killed 60 civilians during at least six "unlawful" airstrikes in residential areas of Yemen's capital.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Saudi-led coalition killed 60 civilians in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa during the airstrikes in September and October, an international rights group said in a report published Monday.
"The Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen carried out at least six apparently unlawful airstrikes in residential areas of the capital, Sanaa, in September and October 2015, killing 60 civilians," Human Rights Watch's report said.
The report added that the coalition had repeatedly used bombs in areas inhabited by non-combatants, which increased the likelihood of casualties among civilian population.
Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Shiite Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Since late March, the Saudi-led coalition, comprising Arab countries, has been carrying out airstrikes against Houthi positions at Hadi's request.
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