Compiled: June 30, 2015 9:33 PM
By SOMINI SENGUPTAAid officials are preparing to add Yemen to the ranks of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises and human rights groups point to what may be war crimes.
The Times article is based i part on a May 15 report by Human Watch Reports, which was reported by the Times this way:
Saudi-Led Group Said to Use Cluster Bombs in Yemen
CAIRO — The Saudi-led military coalition fighting a rebel group in Yemen has in the past few weeks usedcluster munitions supplied by the United States, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Sunday.The report said video, photographs and other evidence showed that the coalition had used cluster bombs near villages in Yemen’s northern Saada Province. The group, which said it had found evidence that the weapons had been deployed on at least two separate occasions, has not been able to establish whether any casualties had resulted from their use, according to the report. Cluster munitions, which are banned by much of the world, though not by the United States, Saudi Arabia or Yemen, are considered imprecise weapons that spread ordnance over a wide area and pose a long-term danger to civilians because of the unexploded bomblets they leave behind. Saudi Arabia has come under growing international criticism for the high civilian death toll during its aerial campaign, which has been carried out over more than five weeks alongside a coalition of Arab states and with intelligence and logistical support from the United States.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in fighting since late March, when the Saudis said their military was intervening to roll back the gains of the Houthis, a Shiite rebel group that had captured large parts of Yemen and forced the president, supported by Saudi Arabia, into exile.
There have been no precise tallies of deaths caused by the airstrikes, in part because of the difficulties human rights groups face in accessing many parts of Yemen. Dozens of people have been killed at a time in several well-documented bombings, includingairstrikes near a military base in Yemen’s capital, Sana; at a dairy factory near the city of Al Hudaydah; and at a camp for internally displaced people in northern Yemen.
At least two fatal airstrikes were reported on Friday, according to officials and witnesses.
A bomb that struck a residential area in Sana killed at least 14 people, including at least five members of one family, according to officials and local witnesses.
Airstrikes also hit a government building south of Taiz that residents said was being used as a field hospital by the Houthis. A local resident said at least a dozen people were killed, while an official Houthi-run news media outlet put the toll at dozens, without mentioning that a field hospital had been hit.
Hundreds of other people have been killed during fighting in the southern city of Aden, where the Houthis and their allies are accused of targeting residential neighborhoods with sniper and heavy weapons fire.
In its report, Human Rights Watch, based in New York, said photographs taken at the site of an airstrike on April 17 showed remnants of a type of cluster munitions that has been supplied in recent years by the United States to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates is part of the military coalition.
Before the airstrikes cited by Human Rights Watch, a Saudi military spokesman had denied that the coalition was using cluster bombs, the group said, citing a local news media report.
Both Saudi and American military forces have deployed cluster munitions in Yemen before the most recent conflict, according to human rights groups. In 2009, Saudi warplanes dropped cluster bombs during attacks on the Houthis in Saada, their home province.
The same year, United States naval forces fired one or more cruise missiles containing cluster munitions at a suspected Qaeda training camp in southern Yemen. Yemeni officials said the attack had killed at least 14 militants and dozens of civilians.
Mohammed Ali Kalfood contributed reporting from Sana, Yemen, and Saeed Al-Batati from Al Mukalla, Yemen.
Recent Saudi-US bombing in Yemen
A Houth youngen willing to attach a Saudi outpost in Arabia.