It’s curious that the relatives of those 850 deceased and 1,500 wounded in the 9/11 attacks have filed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia in accordance with the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, that the US Congress adopted last year. Those who directly suffered direct consequences of the gravest terrorist attack in US history accuse the Kingdom of aiding terrorists and demand compensation for the hardships its actions brought to their lives.
This development along with the act itself has marked a new all time low in the bilateral relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
On one hand, by bringing this law to the table the United States opens the way for citizens affected by foreign terrorist groups to obtain considerable financial compensation from states sponsoring terrorism that has affected them.
On the other hand, it opens a way for foreign citizens to seek compensation if their loved ones fell victims of the so-called War on Terror. Thus, Washington has in essence recognized its obligations to pay compensation for those civilians that have perished as a result of US military actions. This possibility was pointed out last fall by Obama administration spokesman Josh Ernest who notrd last year that this bill may put the US at “significant risk” since now other countries can adopt similar laws. And even now it’s safe to assume that there’s going to be a long line of those seeking retribution, if we are to remember that in the last decade Washington has invaded numerous sovereign states, killing civilians en mass under the pretext of fighting a “War on Terror” launched by the White House in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks.
Among the first “foreign” applicants for receiving compensation from the US in the amount of 1 million euros is the family of Italian Giovanni Lo Porto who fell the victim of US air strikes back in 2015, when American jets hit terrorist positions on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Iraq also seeks compensation for war crimes committed by American military personnel during the occupation of this country. A group of Iraqi activists have already announced their intention to seek compensation from Washington, as it’s been announced by Al-Arabiya. The activists have stressed the fact that if US citizens now have an opportunity to demand compensation from individuals, as well as foreign states in accordance with JASTA, then Iraqi citizens may as well demand the same treatment. Therefore, this group urges the public to investigate the mass murder of Iraqi citizens, the loss of property, as well as cases of torture and other infringements of Iraqi rights by US troops.
As it’s been noted by British media source Airwars, the United States has conducted about 10,000 air strikes in Iraq and about 5,000 in Syria, with more than 50,000 bombs and missiles being dropped and more than a thousand civilians killed as a result.
The civilian death toll is mounting rapidly amid operations in Raqqa and Mosul, with more than 500 civilians falling victim to US air strikes in just a couple of days. And it is quite remarkable that US air strikes involving outrageous collateral damage began occurring last week, ordered by the new administration sitting in the White House.
So now not only can the relatives of thousands of those who innocently perished from US military actions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and other countries present their claims for compensation, but also the states affected by American bombings that are destroying cities, infrastructure, and the chaos and the suffering inflicted upon their respective populations.
If each of the relatives of the civilians killed in the Middle East and Africa due to the careless actions of the US military were able to receive compensation from the United States in the amount comparable to that of the family of Giovanni Lo Porto (over a million euros), then the flow of refugees from destroyed Middle Eastern countries to Europe would abruptly stop.
And given the fact that the first mass suits in the US are being filed against Saudi Arabia, one can not exclude the further deterioration of relations between the United States and the Kingdom, with Riyadh remaining true to its world and selling 750 billion dollars worth of US assets. Otherwise, there’s a chance they will be frozen, or even lost. Nor can we exclude Riyadh’s attempts to “assist” Sunni victims of US military actions in organizing trials and filing lawsuits against the United States.