Amnesty International Finds Saudi Led Airstrikes Were Aimed At Civilians

Saudi Arabia continues to come under fire for human rights abuses, as a new report by human rights advocate Amnesty International has claimed airstrikes in Yemen by Saudi Arabian lead coalition forces showed a pattern of attacks aimed specifically at civilians.

The organization’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser Donatella Rovera, said airstrike research and weapons analysis revealed a failure by the coalition forces to follow requirements of international humanitarian law, leading to significant civilian loss of life.

Amnesty International researchers looked into eight airstrikes in various parts of the Yemen carried out June 12, 13 and 16. In those attacks a total of 54 civilians were killed – 27 children (including a one day old baby) , 11 men and 16 women 16 women – including a one-day-old infant, and 55 civilians were injured – 19 children, 17 mean and 19 women .

Rovera said “International humanitarian law is clear that belligerents must take all possible steps to prevent or minimize civilian casualties. But the cases we have analysed point to a pattern of attacks destroying civilian homes and resulting in scores of civilian deaths and injuries. There is no indication that the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition has done anything to prevent and redress such violations,” she said.

“These eight cases investigated by Amnesty International must be independently and impartially investigated as possible disproportionate or indiscriminate attacks. The findings of any investigation must be made public, and those suspected of responsibility for serious violations of the laws of war must be brought to justice in fair trials. All victims of unlawful attacks and their families should receive full reparation.”

Brigadier-General Ahmed al-‘Assiri, spokesman for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition has denied responsibility for the airstrikes but bomb fragments taken from the rubble of houses destroyed in the airstrikes revealed they came from bombs used by the coalition.

The air strikes were part of a Saudi Arabia lead campaign against Shiite rebels who earlier this years overthrew the Yemeni government which was a key Ally of the US in it’s fight against al Qaeda.

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