Human Rights Watch Calls on US to Stop Selling Bombs to Saudi Arabia

The group says sending more American weaponry is “a recipe for greater civilian deaths” in Yemen.

An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition at a weapons depot in Sanaa, Yemen, on September 11, 2015.AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


This morning, Human Rights Watch called on the United States to stop selling bombs to Saudi Arabia for use in its air campaign in Yemen, which has killed hundreds of civilians and allegedly violated the laws of war.

The call comes shortly after a new arms deal was announced by the Defense Department, just days after the terrorist attacks in Paris. The $1.29 billion sale is for more than 10,000 advanced air-to-ground munitions, including laser guided bombs and “general purpose” bombs with guidance systems, which have been linked to civilian deaths in Yemen. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has reported that the eight-month fight against rebel fighters in Yemen has resulted in more than 2,300 civilian deaths, the majority of them from air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition.

“The US government is well aware of the Saudi-led coalition’s indiscriminate air attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen since March,” said Joe Stork, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Middle East and North Africa director, in a statement. “Providing the Saudis with more bombs under these circumstances is a recipe for greater civilian deaths, for which the US will be partially responsible.”

Human Rights Watch noted that Pentagon officials have said the United States is playing an active role in coordinating the Saudi-led air operations in Yemen. This cooperation, it said, could make US forces “responsible for possible laws-of-war violations by the coalition.” Stork called on the United States to stop sending bombs to Saudi Arabia until the kingdom investigates the alleged war crimes by coalition warplanes.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate