29 More Civilians Die as Congress Rejects Challenge to Legality of War on Yemen
November 3, 2017
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & AntiWar.com & Yemen Peace Project
Saudi warplanes attacked the north Yemen Sahar District, in the Shi'ite-dominated Saada Province, bombing a crowded marketplace and a nearby hotel, and killing at least 29 civilians. 28 others were said to have been wounded. This is the latest in a long, long string of attacks on civilian targets by Saudi warplanes. A resolution demanding an end to the US role in the Saudi invasion of Yemen (on the grounds that the aggression lacked authorization under the War Powers Act) was thwarted by the House.
Saudi Warplanes Attack
North Yemen Market, Killing 29 Civilians
Children Among Those Slain in Crowded Market
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(November 1, 2017) – Saudi warplanes attacked the north Yemen Sahar District, in the Shi'ite-dominated Saada Province, bombing a crowded marketplace and a nearby hotel, and killing at least 29 civilians. 28 others were said to have been wounded.
The attacks took place Wednesday morning, leveling the hotel and leaving a large crater in the middle of the market. With the bodies removed and the wounded rushed to the hospital, workers are now busily trying to clear the site of debris from destroyed stalls.
This is the latest in a long, long string of attacks on civilian targets in Yemen by Saudi warplanes, despite their claims that they don't attack civilian infrastructure. Over the course of two and a half years, a massive civilian death toll has mounted from such strikes.
Saudi officials have yet to comment on this latest strike, as to why they bombed a market or the hotel. In general, they just issue blanket denials for instances where they kill a large number of people, or claim that everyone is a "Shi'ite terrorist."
Saudi-led Coalition Airstrike in Yemen Kills 26 People
Ahmed al-Haj / Associated Press
SANAA, Yemen (November 1, 2017) -- A suspected airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen killed at least 29 people, including children, in the country's north, a Yemeni health official said Wednesday.
Abdellah al-Ezi, head of the health office of the northern Saada province, said the airstrike struck a small hotel in a market, wounding 28 other people. Saada, which borders Saudi Arabia, is a stronghold of the Iran-backed rebels, known as Houthis.
Footage obtained by The Associated Press shows a bulldozer removing wreckage and debris from the site of the airstrike.
Ahmed Mohammed, an eyewitness, insisted there were no fighters in the hotel. "This is an act of aggression by the Americans, the Saudis, and the Zionists, and by God's will we will take revenge one day. And even if we don't get revenge, our children will," he said.
Al-Ezi said another airstrike killed three people Wednesday in a different part of the vast province. The spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
International rights groups have accused the coalition of bombing civilian gatherings, markets, hospitals and residential areas across Yemen since its air campaign against the Houthis began in March 2015. The coalition aims to reinstate the internationally recognized government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Hadi's forces have been battling the rebels over the past two days east of the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, and in areas close to the Saudi border, leaving more than 100 dead on both sides.
Security officials from Hadi's forces say their troops have advanced in several areas near Sanaa, which fell to the Houthis in September 2014, but the Houthis say they are still holding onto their positions. Hadi's government is currently based in the southern port city of Aden.
In the southwestern city of Taiz, more than 80 people were killed on both sides in fighting over the past two days, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The stalemated war has killed more than 10,000 civilians and displaced 3 million others, and has pushed the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of famine.
House Rules Committee
Guts Challenge to Yemen War Legality
House Leadership Will Only Accept Non-Binding 'Compromise' Vote
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(November 1, 2017) – House Concurrent Resolution 81 is effectively dead, following a surprise bit of sleight of hand by the House Rules Committee. The resolution demanded an end to US involvement in the Saudi invasion of Yemen, on the grounds that such involvement was never authorized under the War Powers Act.
Under the War Powers Act, any Congressman is able to bring such a legal challenge, and is guaranteed a floor vote on the matter. The H.Con.Res. 81 challenge was offered in early October, and delayed until November 2.
November 1 rolled around, however, and House leadership quickly forced through a Rules Committee vote which changed the rules on H.Con.Res. 81, stripping it of its privileged status (which would have guaranteed a floor vote). Though the War Powers Act guarantees such a resolution privilege, the Rules Committee claimed Yemen doesn't rise to the level of the War Powers Act applying.
One legislative aide was quick to bash the move, saying it was in "defiance of the plain text of the War Powers Resolution," and warning that it set a "very dangerous precedent" for future challenges to illegal wars.
Instead of H.Con.Res. 81, the House leadership is going to allow an alternative "compromise" resolution on Yemen. This will allow debate on whether America's involvement in the Yemen War is legal, but the vote will be non-binding.
Amid mounting unauthorized US wars around the world, H.Con.Res. 81 was the biggest attempt to enforce the War Powers Act to limit such conflicts.
While the Rules Committee technically only stopped a single challenge this way, and the War Powers Act remains on the books, the success of this sort of chicanery means that the Congressional leadership can do the exact same thing to any future challenges.
Joint Statement on Setback for
HCR 81 To Stop US Support of Saudi War on Yemen
Eric Garris / AntiWar.com
(November 1, 2017) -- "We are deeply disappointed that House leadership has again prevented a debate and vote on ending US participation in the famine-inducing Saudi-led war in Yemen. We remind the House leadership that under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, 'introduction of United States Armed Forces' includes the assignment of member of such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged . . . ."
US refueling of Saudi-UAE planes bombing Houthi targets in Yemen meets that definition.
We thank Reps. Ro Khanna, Thomas Massie, Mark Pocan, Walter Jones, and the other co-sponsors for their leadership in diligently seeking a debate and vote on the US role in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
We applaud their effort for bringing unprecedented and long-overdue discussion and attention to this matter and we continue to urge Democratic and Republican Representatives to co-sponsor H.Con.Res.81.
We call for the introduction of companion legislation to H.Con.Res.81 in the Senate. We will not rest until unauthorized US participation in the famine-inducing Saudi war in Yemen has ended."
Yemen Peace Project
Win Without War
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Just Foreign Policy