Rights group demands probe into Yemen airstrikes

HRW demands Saudi Arabia probe civilians deaths in Yemen airstrikes

2 min read
08 September, 2017
An international rights group has denounced a Saudi-led military coalition for failing to investigate airstrikes in Yemen that led to the killing of civilians.

A Saudi-led coalition launched its Yemen campaign in March 2015 [Getty]

An international rights group has denounced a Saudi-led military coalition for failing to investigate airstrikes in Yemen that led to the killing of civilians, saying members of the coalition are fearful of international legal liability.

Human Rights Watch said in a report on Friday that it received no response from any coalition members to requests for information on airstrikes.

The group pointed to a recent airstrike that killed and injured 25 civilians, including women and children in the capital Sanaa on Aug. 25.

The coalition admitted a technical error was behind the airstrike but gave no information.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, says: "Yemeni civilians who are paying the price of this war deserve far more than blanket denials or generic expressions of sympathy."

A Saudi-led coalition launched its Yemen campaign in March 2015 to oust Houthi rebels who control the capital and much of the north and restore to power the internationally-recognised government of Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

More than 10,000 civilians have been killed and 47,800 wounded since the Saudi-led coalition joined the war, according to the World Health Organization.

Another 2,000 people have died of cholera in a deadly outbreak that has spread across Yemen since April.

Long the poorest country in the Arab world, millions of Yemeni now stand at the brink of famine, according to the United Nations.

Aid groups have accused Saudi Arabia of blocking needed assistance and goods from areas that are most in need.