Just one day after abandoning a resolution authorizing a UN investigation, the White House is calling for an investigation into the reports of major civilian casualties in Yemen over the past week, saying the findings of such an investigation would need to be made public.
This is exactly what the Netherlands resolution at the UN was calling for, but in the face of complaints by the Saudis, whose warplanes are killing most of these civilians, the US and other Western nations ditched that plane in favor of a Saudi resolution which empowered the pro-Saudi forces to investigate themselves.
The civilian toll is bringing renewed attention to Yemen, and to the US military’s involvement in the Saudi airstrikes, with several officials, notably Rep. Ted Lieu (D – CA), pushing the Pentagon for more details on the extent of US military cooperation with Saudi strikes, and in particular the civilian toll.
Today’s White House call didn’t explicitly call for the investigation to be UN-based, and they may be able to justify their objection to the Netherlands’ plan on the grounds that a Saudi investigation is “good enough” so long as the Saudis make the results public. With the Saudis insisting most of these incidents didn’t even happen, the chances of a serious probe are not good.