Responding to an announcement today from the Biden administration that the United States will cease support to the Saudi/UAE-led coalition engaged in Yemen, Philippe Nassif, the advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa said:
“As the conflict in Yemen enters its seventh year, it is vital for the United States to commit to prioritizing the safety of civilians in the country. Central to these efforts will be stopping the flow of arms from the United States into situations where they will be used to commit war crimes and grave human rights violations. Halting the sale of precision guided munitions is the first big step. The human tragedy of United States arms sales is immense pain and suffering inflicted on civilians in Yemen that must not be continued to be swept aside, and crimes committed with arms sold by the United States must be investigated.
“Paveway guided missiles were found by Amnesty International to have been used to commit war crimes in Yemen. All arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia should be blocked lest they be used to commit further war crimes in Yemen.”
Background and context
Since Saudi Arabia and UAE-led coalition air strikes began in March 2015, Amnesty International has visited and investigated dozens of air strike sites in eight governorates and repeatedly found remnants of munitions manufactured in the United States. U.S.-manufactured Raytheon Paveway bombs examined by Amnesty International have struck hospitals, schools, and civilian homes, killing healthcare providers, teachers, and entire families, including children as young as two years old.
In relation to the UAE, Amnesty International has collected extensive evidence that shows weapons are not only being used by the UAE forces in Yemen, but are also being passed on to completely unaccountable militias, some of which stand accused of war crimes.