Home/Daniel Larison/The Saudi-Led Coalition’s Slaughter of Somali Refugees

The Saudi-Led Coalition’s Slaughter of Somali Refugees

Reuters has produced a follow-up report on the slaughter of dozens of Somali refugees off the coast of Yemen:

“According to survivors’ accounts, the vessel carrying the refugees across the Red Sea was hit by shelling from a coalition warship, without any warning, followed by shooting from an Apache helicopter overhead,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said last week.

The coalition, which receives U.S. arms and logistical support, has denied responsibility.

The survivors’ accounts confirm that the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for the attack, but then there was no one else that could have carried out the attack. Only one side of the war controls the skies in and around Yemen, and that is the coalition. The Somali government has publicly accused coalition forces of carrying out the attack, and since Somalia is a member of the coalition they are in a better position than most to have reason to believe this.

The coalition’s denials might count for something if they hadn’t repeatedly issued similar denials about numerous previous incidents in which their forces attacked civilian targets. After two years of many strikes on civilian targets, the coalition’s blatant disregard for the lives of noncombatants is obvious and undeniable. The gruesome attack on a ship of refugees was an especially appalling and ugly example of a pattern of outrageous and illegal behavior that goes back to the start of the coalition’s campaign in Yemen. This is the shameful and atrocious war that our government wholeheartedly supports, and this is the campaign that the Trump administration wants to provide with more weapons and assistance.

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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