ReliefWeb reports that Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, assisted by the UK and US militaries, appear to be responsible for 67% of reported civilian casualties in the war in Yemen, and are the cause of the majority of explosive violence against children.
Between 2015 and 2020, at least 3,153 children have died in Yemen and 5,660 children have been injured, according to a report by UNICEF. On average, 50 children are killed and 90 are wounded or permanently disabled each month. The vast majority are harmed by explosive weapons with wide area effects.
20 March 2021 – “A growing wave of violence across Yemen continues to take a devastating toll on children, with eight children confirmed killed and 33 more injured in a series of attacks since the beginning of the month*.
More than 100 international human rights organisations have called on US President Joe Biden to stop using drone attacks and air strikes outside of recognised battlefields.
They made the call in a letter penned on Thursday in response to recent missile strikes on targets in Syria and Iraq, at the end of June, in which a child and three civilians were killed along with four anti-Isis fighters. Iraq is “studying all legal options” after this attack which has been condemned by regional leaders and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, as a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security”.
The American Civil Liberties Union published the letter and its signatories; an extract follows:
NBC reports that U.S. forces carried out airstrikes earlier this year against the same Iran-backed militias that the Pentagon said were behind a rocket attack in northern Iraq. The rocket attack killed a Filipino contractor working with an American-led military coalition and injured six people, including a Louisiana National Guard soldier and four American contractors.
The Pentagon press secretary John Kirby called these air strikes in Iraq and Syria an act of self-defence, justified to the US public – and the world – by the September 11 2001 al-Qaida attack on New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
In July 2016, the Times reported that the Obama administration released a document, compiled by US investigators Dana Lesemann and Michael Jacobson, known as “File 17”, which contains a list naming three dozen people, including the suspected Saudi intelligence officers attached to Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington, D.C. which connects Saudi Arabia to the hijackers
Newsweek has found a continuing conspiracy of silence among high former U.S. and Saudi officials about the attacks. “9/11 changed the whole world.” It not only led to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the fracturing of the Middle East and the global growth of Islamic militantism.
As Professor Garcia has written, Britain should end foreign military adventures forthwith and address its social, economic and environmental challenges. Many other voices are urging governments to stop spending billions of dollars on weapons and protect citizens from the real threats they face.