UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein, addressing the Security Council today, warned that Saudi Arabia seems to be disproportionately responsible for civilian deaths in the ongoing Yemen war, a nine month conflict that’s led to enormous civilian casualties.
Saudi Arabia began airstrikes against Yemen back in March, and has repeatedly faced reports from human rights groups of enormous civilian death tolls in airstrikes against residential areas. During the UN General Assembly, however, Saudi officials managed to block efforts to investigate the killings, rather getting the UN to empower them to investigate themselves.
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power told reporters that the US has been urging Saudi Arabia to “ensure lawful and discriminate targeting,” though this has not stopped the US from providing much of the weaponry used in the strikes, and to help coordinate the war.
The Saudi war has from the start been faulted for its horrendous impact on human rights, which has included not just airstrikes on populated areas, but also a full naval blockade of Yemen, which has brought food imports to the nation, which historically has had to import 90% of its food, to a comparative halt.
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