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Saudi Coalition Slaughters Yemeni Fishermen

The Saudi coalition commits another war crime against Yemeni civilians. In this case, a coalition warship shelled a group of fishermen and killed 18 people:

A frigate attacked a fishing boat off Yemen’s Red Sea port of al-Khoukha, killing 18 fishermen on Tuesday, relatives said. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi group denied reports that it had carried out the attack.

Members of the fishermen’s families told Reuters only one person survived when a warship attacked the boat.

The Saudi coalition maintains a naval and air blockade of Yemen, and it enforces the former with Saudi and Emirati naval vessels. Whenever there is an attack on civilians at sea by ship or from the air, it is certain that coalition forces are responsible for it for the simple reason that they are the only ones capable of launching such attacks. This latest attack on Yemeni fishermen is consistent with previous attacks on fishing boats and fish markets, and it fits into the systematic campaign of targeting Yemen’s sources of food production. The coalition blockade starves Yemenis of basic necessities, and then when some of them seek to make a living and gather food to sell at sea they are murdered by coalition forces. The killing of these fishermen is unfortunately all too common in this war, because coalition forces have no regard for the lives of Yemeni civilians and know that they can act with impunity.

We all understand by now that Saudi coalition denials are completely worthless. They always deny that they launched the attacks that only their forces could carry out. They grudgingly acknowledge responsibility for their massacres only when there is intense international scrutiny of their actions, and even then they won’t admit that they did anything wrong. Needless to say, military forces that blow up peaceful fishermen at sea are not making the slightest effort to reduce harm to civilians. This is just the latest attack that exposes the Trump administration’s certification of coalition behavior as a lie. On the contrary, there is daily more evidence that coalition forces deliberately target civilians on the assumption that their governments and their Western patrons will do nothing about it.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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