UN Report Finds ‘Systematic’ Saudi Targeting of Yemeni Civilians

by Jason Ditz

A leaked report by a UN panel of experts is calling for a formal inquiry into Saudi human rights abuses, saying the nation is “deliberately starving” Yemeni civilians in its war, and targeting civilians in airstrikes in a “widespread and systematic manner.”

The report went on to document 119 attacks on civilians that were likely violations of international law, saying some of the attacks could amount to “crimes against humanity.” They also faulted the Saudis for failing to respect any of the brokered ceasefires.

The incident is just adding to calls among human rights groups for Western nations to stop selling arms to the Saudis, and to stop blocking efforts to get a formal international investigation into the abuses. During the UN General Assembly, an attempt to start a probe into Yemeni war crimes ended when the Saudis complained, and it was agreed the Saudis could investigate themselves.

So far, the Saudis have not commented on the matter, and the US State Department has refused to discuss the report because it wasn’t supposed to be public, saying only that they’re concerned about “allegations of abuse.” The US has repeatedly endorsed the Saudi war, and is continuing to provide both arms and logistics support.