16.06.2016 Author: Martin Berger

Saudi Arabia is Knee-Deep in Yemeni Blood


The White House’s campaign to establish unconditional control over both national and international media sources manifests itself in a number of ways. These sources only publish article on topics that suit Washington’s agenda, while outright ignoring all others.

If you take a look at the coverage of events in Syria, you will inevitably run across heavy criticism of the steps that Russia and the Syrian government are taking, while leaving Turkey’s continuous support of ISIS unreported entirely. If you take a look at Western media articles that are covering the situation in Iraq, you will be plunged into a world of bravado-heroism of US actions in this countries, while finding no mention of Washington’s role in the creation of the never-ending bloodshed unfolding in Iraq in the first place.

As for the steps that Washington’s puppets take, they are rarely mentioned and certainly never criticized, in a bid to avoid Washington’s discontent and the subsequent withdrawal of “additional funding” these sources get.

That’s the reason you will rarely see any mention of the conflict initiated by the Nobel Peace Laureate US President Barack Obama in Yemen. It’s as if over the past 15 months Saudi Arabia hasn’t subjected millions of Yemenis to bitter, unbearable suffering through the barbaric bombing of urban areas and civilian infrastructure, using a diverse arsenal of weapons that Washington sold to Riyadh to its full potential. According to a Foreign Policy article, since November 2013, the US Defense Department has authorized more than 35.7 billion dollars in major arms deals to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi military intervention in Yemen has resulted in the death of at least 8,000, while some 30,000 have been left badly injured. The systematic attacks on hospitals and medical centers in Yemen are obviously a blatant example of Saudi war crimes that should not simply be stopped, but those responsible also brought to face justice.

Western media sources keep silent even when the spokesman of the Yemeni Ministry of Defence announced that Saudi aircraft subjected the Lahij governorate to a massive bombardment which resulted in civilian casualties, including two women and a child. On the same day, yet another series of strikes destroyed a mineral water factory in the same governorate. A number of other governorates has been subjected to the same treatment which has resulted in a large number of civilians killed on just one day. Saudi tanks and artillery were shelling a local school in the Taiz governorate for hours, along with the buildings housing the mission to monitor the compliance with the cease-fire, which resulted in its inability to deliver humanitarian aid to the local population. In the Shabwah governorate, Saudi coalition forces destroyed a power generator and a number of houses with mortar fire, exacerbating the misery and suffering of local inhabitants. Mind you, that this is a summary of a single day of Saudi military operations in Yemen.

Regardless of this fact, Saudi Arabia remains the closest ally to both the the United Kingdom and the United States, even though it has deliberately violated a number of humanitarian conventions over the last year. Thousands of civilians have been killed or injured while attempting to seek refugee in civilian areas, protected by the norms of the Geneva Convention. The deliberate shelling of hospitals, schools and mosques constitutes a war crime, no matter how certain interests would like to turn a blind eye to this fact.

Human Rights Watch has repeatedly noted that Saudi forces have been using cluster munitions for the bombardment of the Yemeni capital – Sana’a, even though the use of such weapons is strictly prohibited in urban areas by international law. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad and the UN Security Council human rights experts have already presented a long list of evidence that suggests that Saudi Arabia has been committing war crimes in Yemen deliberately, while fearing no retribution.

According to Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad, the Saudi-led coalition is responsible for twice the number of civilian casualties than all other parties of the conflict combined. On June 3, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has put Saudi Arabia on a “black list” of countries and groups in connection with the murder of 510 children in Yemen.

Any country that commits such atrocities must be held responsible for its actions in international court. But while Saudi Arabia enjoys the protection of Washington, while trying to bribe and deflect any investigation into its criminal actions with its vast reserve of petrodollars, it remains confident that it can safely carry on with its barbaric actions in Yemen. It’s curious that nobody has mentioned the fact that since the United States sold cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, it has the right to make the decision on whether those should be used against civilian targets in Yemen. Therefore, Washington feels entitled to decide the fate of this sovereign state and its citizens, as if the international community and its laws never existed. While the killing of thousands of civilians in Yemen goes unpunished, it’s high time to demand the international community and a number of international institutions to wake up and put an end to this barbarism.

Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.” 

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