Damning evidence of war crimes by the Saudi-led coalition highlights the urgent need for independent, effective investigation of violations in Yemen and for the suspension of transfers of certain arms, said Amnesty International in a new report published Oct. 7. "'Bombs fall from the sky day and night': Civilians Under Fire in Northern Yemen" examines 13 deadly airstrikes by the coalition in Sa'da, northeastern Yemen, which killed some 100 civilians, including 59 children. The report documents the use of internationally banned cluster bombs. "This report uncovers yet more evidence of unlawful air-strikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, some of which amount to war crimes. It demonstrates in harrowing detail how crucial it is to stop arms being used to commit serious violations of this kind," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's senior crisis response adviser who headed the organization's fact-finding mission to Yemen. "The USA and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law."
Amnesty International is calling for a suspension in transfers to members of the Saudi-led coalition of weapons and munitions which have been used to commit violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes in Yemen: in particular, bombs from the MK (MARK) 80 series, fighter jets, combat helicopters and their associated parts and components.
More civilians have died as a result of coalition air-strikes than from any other cause during the conflict in Yemen. The city of Sa'da has suffered more destruction from coalition airstrikes than any other city in the country. The report reveals a pattern of disregard for civilian lives displayed by the Saudi-led coalition, which declared the entire cities of Sa'da and nearby Marran military targets in violation of international law. "The designation of large, heavily populated areas as military targets and the repeated targeting of civilian homes are telling examples revealing the coalition forces’ flagrant failure to take sufficient precautions to avoid civilian loss of life as required by international humanitarian law," said Rovera. (AI, Oct. 7)