Throughout the Saudi war against Yemen, now in its seventh month, there have been a few shipments, by sea, of additional bombs and other equipment to the Saudi military. Suggesting the ever-escalating war may finally be taxing their inventories, Italy is reported to have shipped a large amount of additional bombs to the Saudis via commercial airline.
The shipment raises inevitable questions about the human rights consequences, particularly with the Saudis killing Yemeni civilians by the thousands over the course of this war, and seemingly making no serious effort to reduce the frequency of such incidents.
Though it’s impossible to know which of the bombings are carried out with which type of bombs, in recent weeks Saudi warplanes have hit multiple civilian targets, including a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders and a busload of civilians, adding to concerns about war crimes.
Amnesty International also reported the discovery of a Brazilian variant of the banned cluster bomb has been used in several airstrikes by some member of the Saudi-coalition, saying they’d wounded at least four civilians in Saada Province and had left unexploded bomblets strewn around farmland nearby.
Saudi Arabia previously denied using certain types of cluster bombs in the war, but has insisted that their use is not necessarily “illegal under international law.” This is indeed likely the case, though the use in civilian areas, which is seemingly every incident occurs, would definitely be banned.