Saudi airstrike on Yemen residential complex has ‘all appearances of war crime’ – HRW
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has slammed a Saudi-led air raid in western Yemen last Friday as an apparent war crime. According to the group 65 civilians were killed when warplanes bombed two residential compounds in the port city of Mokha. Activists say there was no evident military target and called again for a probe into the Saudi air strikes.
RT: The report calls the strike a war crime – will anybody be held accountable, do you think?
Ahmed Benchemsi: It’s called an apparent war crime because it’s still pending an investigation but it has all the appearances of a war crime. Our team from HRW was there on the ground about one day and a half after the attack and we were able to confirm independently that there were at least 65 victims in this attack, including 10 children, more than 40 people were wounded, many of them in a critical condition including an 11-year-old girl. Yes, this was an attack against a residential compound of a factory, an electrical plant. The residential compound was just the people who were living there, were just workers, engineers, technicians, people who have absolutely no relation with any armed part of any conflict, and yet they were targeted by the air strikes. So it has all the appearances of a war crime.
RT: This is hardly the first time an international organization has drawn attention to civilian deaths caused by Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen. Will Riyadh ever be moved to change its approach?
AB: It’s not for us to answer this question actually, you should ask them. However, under the rules of war any part that is in an armed conflict must investigate any allegation of a war crime and the Saudis should investigate that. If they don’t, we at the HRW are calling the UN to do it and specifically the Human Rights Council of the UN. So there should be an investigation, that’s what we are calling for.
RT: How effective are the coalition airstrikes on Yemen proving?
AB: I don’t know if we can talk about effectiveness but when it comes to civilian
US Mercenaries from DynCorp Have Arrived In Yemen
The US defense industry had found another cash cow
Originally Appeared at German Economic News. Translated from the German by Kay Olms
New mercenary’s from DynCorp have arrived in Yemen to fight the rebels in the country. They are meant to replace those of Blackwater, who had previously been killed one after the other by the rebels.
The first mercenaries of the private US military company arrived last Wednesday at the port of Ras Omran, southwest of Aden. They will replace the mercenaries of Academi, formerly Blackwater, since they weren’t able to withstand in the fight against the Houthi rebels, as was reported by the Greek newspaper Tribune.
According to a report by TeleSUR, about 39 Blackwater mercenaries were killed in Yemen over the past few weeks. Already on 1. February, Blackwater’s commander-in-chief Nicholas Boutros was killed during fight against the rebels in the province of Lahij. They were forced to retreat from the region of Bab-el-Mandeb completely .
The mercenaries from DynCorp are being sent on behalf of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into Yemen. The UAE support the government in Sana’a against the rebels. DynCorp is to receive three billion dollars for the service.
Amnesty International’s (AI) Senior Crisis Response Adviser, Donatella Rovera, said in an Interview with the Viennese Standard, that all parties representing the conflict in Yemen had been responsible for civilian casualties, but that most casualties had resulted from the air strikes of the Saudi-led coalition.
She also points to the active involvement of the EU and USA. „The EU member states, as well as the United States, are supporting these bombardments – 99.9 percent of the missiles and bombs I have seen in Yemen came from U.S. manufacturing, including internationally outlawed cluster bombs. Consultants from the United States and possibly also from the UK, are assisting the coalition with the selection of targets“, said Rovera.