Home/Daniel Larison/Report: Saudi-Led Coalition Uses Cluster Bombs in Yemen

Report: Saudi-Led Coalition Uses Cluster Bombs in Yemen

The Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition bombing Yemen has reportedly been using cluster bombs in its attacks:

The Saudi-led coalition carrying out airstrikes in Yemen has dropped cluster munitions manufactured and supplied by the U.S., a leading rights monitor said Sunday.

A report released by New York-based Human Rights Watch said the weapons have been dropped from coalition fighter jets targeting military installations and other points held by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

In 2008, cluster munitions—bombs that scatter sub-munitions indiscriminately over wide swaths of land—were banned by 116 countries for the high civilian casualty tolls they inflict.

Often they don’t explode on impact, creating de facto land mines that can maim and kill civilians.

The U.S. and the Saudis have both used cluster munitions in Yemen before this, so this is unfortunately not surprising, but it makes a cruel and unnecessary war on Yemen even worse than it would otherwise be.

The use of these weapons means that Yemeni civilians will continue to be killed as a result of the current military campaign for months and years to come. Indeed, the victims of cluster munitions are overwhelmingly civilian. According to one study from a decade ago, civilians accounted for almost all (98%) of the casualties from cluster bombs. These are inherently indiscriminate weapons that leave behind a horrible legacy for the country and people on which they are used. The war on Yemen was already indefensible and has been doing enormous harm to the civilian population. Now it is clear that the harm being done to Yemen is even more serious than we already thought.

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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