Alwaght- After over three years into Saud-led coalition's aggression on Yemen and killing hundreds of civilians, United Nations human rights experts said on Tuesday Saudi Arabia and its allies, mainly The United Arab Emirates (UAE), may have perpetrated war crimes in the impoverished Arab state.
In a 41-page report published by the Group Experts, Group of Regional and International Eminent Experts on Yemen said the West-Backed coalition have perpetrated, and continue to perpetrate, violations and crimes under international law, including:
Targeting Yemen's civilians and residential areas
Saudi-led coalition's "airstrikes have hit residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities." According to the UN human rights experts "individuals in the Government of Yemen", government of Abd Rabbuh Masur Hadi who resigned as Yemeni president and fled to Saudi Arabia, and "the coalition [led by Saudi Arabia] may have conducted attacks in violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution that may amount to war crimes."
Saudi regime has killed at least 66 children in two separate airstrikes in Yemen during past two weeks.
While the Saudi-led Arab military coalition was expected to halt its airstrikes on Yemen to prevent more pressure from the pro-rights groups and global public opinion after its August 9 airstrike on a school bus in Sadda province that killed 40, to everyone’s surprise it launched a new missile attack in western Yemen on Thursday killing 26 children.
Inhuman naval and air blockade
"There are reasonable grounds to believe that these restrictions imposed by the coalition constitute a violation of the proportionality rule of international humanitarian law."
Saudi Arabia and some of its allies launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which is a significant aid to the Yemeni army in defending the country against the invading forces. The movement has also been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration during the past three years.
The imposed war initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with severe naval and air blockade.
Coalition forces have imposed severe restrictions on Red Sea ports and Sanaa airport, depriving Yemenis of vital supplies which may also constitute international crimes.
"Moreover, the effective closure of Sana’a airport is a violation of international humanitarian law protection for the sick and wounded. Such acts, together with the requisite intent, may amount to international crimes," the report confirmed.
The Saudi war and its blockade have left 22 million people in need of humanitarian aid. It has created the world's largest food emergency and led to a cholera outbreak that is thought to have killed 2,290 people.
In latest raids on Yemen's airports, Saudi-led coalition struck on Monday Sanaa International Airport and Al Delmi air base north of the Yemeni capital.
Deploying children into war fronts
According to the Group of Experts Government Saudi puppet, Masur Hadi, and the coalition-backed forces have "conscripted or enlisted children into armed forces or groups and used them to participate actively in hostilities. In most cases, the children were between 11 and 17 years old, but there have been consistent reports of the recruitment or use of children as young as 8 years old."
“The primary legal responsibility for addressing these violations and crimes lies with the Government of Yemen, which bears the duty to protect persons under its jurisdiction. I call upon the Government of Yemen to investigate and prosecute violations that amount to crimes by their nationals and armed forces,” the UN report said referring to Government of Saudi-based Mansur Hadi.