Rep. Lieu Warns of U.S. War Crimes in Supplying Saudis Arms; New Report: Sana'a Funeral Strike Was a Made-in-US Bomb
On Thursday Human Rights Watch issued a report, based on follow-up work on the ground in Sana'a, to the Oct. 8 Saudi bombing which killed more than 140 people, and wounded many more. The report, which terms the incident a war crime, identifies the bomb as made in the United States. The report states that the ballistic remnants still had an intact guidance fin, which had legible manufacturer's markings. It was a GBU-12 Paveway II 500-pound laser-guided bomb.
Earlier this week, Rep. Ted Lieu, Democrat from California, wrote a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry (Oct. 11), calling on him to halt the sales of U.S. arms to Saudi Arabia and U.S. military support to the Saudi-led coalition in its campaign in Yemen. The letter comes in the aftermath of the Saudi Oct. 8 bombing of the funeral gathering in Sana'a. Lieu also cites an Oct. 10 Reuters dispatch that reports concerns among State Department lawyers that the U.S. could be held liable for war crimes that the Saudis commit with U.S. support.
"The frequency and scale of the civilian killings by the Saudi military coalition make it difficult to come to any conclusion other than that war crimes have been and are continuing to be committed in Yemen," Lieu wrote, adding that human rights groups have counted,
"at least 70 unlawful airstrikes on civilians by the Saudi coalition. And that was before the latest air strike on civilians at a funeral."
This is far too many air strikes than can be defended as "errant" by "apologists" for the Saudi coalition, Leiu continues.
"It appears that either the Saudi coalition is intentionally targeting civilians or they are not distinguishing between civilians and military targets," Lieu writes. "Both would be war crimes." Lieu is a former Air Force attorney.