Amnesty: US Bomb Used To Kill Civilians In Saudi Airstrike On Yemen

A Saudi-led coalition bomb that killed 16 civilians and destroyed a residential building in Yemen last month, was made in the US, Amnesty International said in a statement on Friday.

Remnants of the weapon used in the August 25 raid bore “clear markings that matched US-made components commonly used in laser-guided air-dropped bombs”, the Amnesty said.

Its findings come following an analysis by arms experts.

The attack on the Attan neighborhood in Sanaa left more than 17 civilians injured, including five-year-old Buthania, whose photograph trying one of her swollen and bruised eyes went viral after the attack.

Her parents and five siblings were among those killed by the bomb.

“We can now conclusively say that the bomb that killed Buthaina’s parents and siblings, and other civilians, was made in the USA,” said Lynn Maalouf, research director for the Middle East at Amnesty International.

The rights watchdog called for an immediate suspension of weapons supply to any party in the Yemen conflict.

Amnesty urged the US and other Western states to implement a “comprehensive embargo” on the sales of weapons to members of the Saudi-led coalition in the war-torn country.

“There simply is no explanation the USA or other countries such as the UK and France can give to justify the continued flow of weapons to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition for use in the conflict in Yemen,” Maalouf said.

Related | Saudi Arabia Concludes Investigation Into Saudi War Crimes In Yemen

“It has time and time again committed serious violations of international law, including war crimes, over the past 30 months, with devastating consequences for the civilian population.”

In December 2016, the US administration under then President Barack Obama blocked the transfer of precision-guided bomb kits to Riyadh.

A senior administration official said the move reflected “strong concerns with the flaws in the coalition’s targeting practices” and its overall conduct of the Yemen air war.

US President Donald Trump has stepped up military support to Riyadh since taking over from Obama.

The US and Saudi Arabia in May announced an arms deal worth almost $110 billion, described as the largest in US history.

The Saudi-led coalition, which waged a war against Yemeni Houthi rebels in March 2015, has been repeatedly criticised for attacks on civilians.

It admitted to carrying out the deadly attack in August but claims civilian casualties were a result of a “technical error”.

Related | Saudi Coalition ‘Restricting Fuel’ To Deliver Desperately Needed Yemen Aid

Buthania, who is now in the care of her aunt and uncle, made headlines after a photograph of her captured her trying to open her swollen eyes while lying on a hospital bed went viral.

The five-year-old girl became a symbol of the plight of Yemeni children, sparking a social media campaign under the hashtag #BouthainaTheEyeOfHumanity.

Hundreds of social media users share pictures of themselves mimicking her gesture closing one eye and trying to open the other.

The conflict in Yemen has killed more than 8,000 people, including at least 1,500 children. It has also displaced millions, pushing the impoverished country to the brink of famine.

The UN warned in July that 80 percent of Yemen’s children desperately needed aid in what the organization has called the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world”.

Read Amnesty International’s report below: 

Download the PDF file .

Top photo | Markings on a remnant of a CBU-58 cluster bomb found near al-Zira`a Street in Sanaa on January 6, 2016 indicating that it was manufactured in 1978 at the Milan Army Ammunition Plant in Tennessee. 

© The New Arab

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