The Atrocious U.S.-Backed War on Yemen
The Saudi-led coalition bombed a funeral hall in Sanaa earlier today:
Saudi-led coalition aircraft fired rockets at mourners for the father of the interior minister in the Houthi-dominated Yemeni government on Saturday, causing many casualties, witnesses and medics said.
They said a missile tore through a hall in the south of the capital Sanaa where a wake for the father of Interior Minister Jalal al-Roweishan was being held, destroying the building.
There is no question that a funeral hall is a civilian target, and there is no doubt that targeting of it was deliberate. Even if coalition airstrikes hit civilian targets by accident, they may still be considered war crimes. The bombing of this funeral was clearly done on purpose with blatant disregard for the lives of the civilians there. Targeting a site where many hundreds of noncombatants were gathered is undeniably a gross violation of international law. As they have done in the past, coalition jets returned to bomb the place again as first responders appeared on the scene. This so-called “double tap” strike has become a common tactic for the Saudis and their allies, and it demonstrates just how little regard they have for civilian lives and medical personnel.
The bombings reportedly killed hundreds and injured many more:
— Paul Gottinger (@PaulGottinger) October 8, 2016
— Hisham Al-Omeisy (@omeisy) October 8, 2016
This attack and others like it are made possible by U.S. refueling and weapons. The Obama administration should immediately end its support for the bombing campaign. The Saudi-led war cannot continue without the refueling and weapons the U.S. provides them, and the U.S. should have no part in this atrocious war in any case. The U.S. should also insist on an international investigation of crimes committed by all parties to the conflict. The Saudis have been blocking just such an investigation for months with U.S. and British help, because they fear that an independent inquiry would confirm that they have committed numerous crimes during their bombing campaign. I have zero confidence at this point that the administration will do either of these things, but it’s possible that the Saudis and their allies have finally gone too far.
Update: There are confirmed reports of more than 450 dead and wounded from the attack.
Second Update: Latest count puts fatalities at 140 at least and more than 525 injured.