Home/Daniel Larison/The U.S. Must Stop Enabling Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

The U.S. Must Stop Enabling Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

Reuters reports on a typical Saudi-led coalition attack in Yemen:

Medics and a Reuters photographer who saw the wreckage in Saada said an initial air strike destroyed a house in the outlying Sohar district of the city, the main stronghold of the Houthis who control much of northern Yemen.

The medics said two further air strikes hit paramedics who were trying to lift the victims from the rubble.

Like many other coalition attacks, this one targeted civilians, and like so many others it employed the sickening “double tap” tactic to kill the people who came to help the civilians killed and injured in the initial blast. It is a gross violation of international law to target civilians, and it is likewise outrageous and illegal to attack medical personnel. The Saudi-led coalition piles war crimes on top of war crimes. The coalition has illegally treated all of Saada as a military target for almost three years, and coalition forces have been bombing indiscriminately and targeting civilians on purpose there ever since. Providing weapons to these governments does not reduce the number of civilian casualties, as supporters of our indefensible policy would claim, but rather guarantees that there will be many more. This is the bombing campaign that U.S. arms and refueling support, and it is a campaign that the Saudis and their allies would be hard-pressed to continue without U.S. and other Western assistance. It is imperative that Congress vote to end U.S. support for this war.

There will soon be a chance for members of Congress to do just that. Sens. Murphy, Sanders, Lee, and Paul are co-sponsoring a resolution to end U.S. involvement:

A bipartisan effort by four senators is looking to end the US military’s involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, with the introduction of the first ever War Powers Act vote to come out of the Senate.

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) are forwarding the bill, which notes that Congress has never authorized the use of military force in Yemen. This should allow Congress to oblige the administration to end US involvement in the war.

I commend the senators for their continued leadership in opposing U.S. support for the war on Yemen, and I hope that their colleagues seize the opportunity to put an end to an indefensible policy.

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.

leave a comment

Latest Articles