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“It is different,” the State Department's John Kirby hastold AP's Matt Lee, when asked whether Capitol Hill sees a difference between the recent attack in Yemen and“what you accuse the Russians and the Syrians and the Iranians of doing in Syria, particularly Aleppo?”
The question specifically referred to an airstrike that targeted a funeral service in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, killing more than 150 civilians and injuring over 525.
Targeting a funeral service...even organized crime in most of the world won't stoop to that level. Should we be surprised? The Saudi Arabian government is worse than most organized crime in my opinion.
Human-rights groups have alleged for some time that the United States kills people in drone strikes, waits for rescuers to arrive, and deliberately targets them too, and that we target and kill mourners at the funerals of drone-strike victims.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is one prominent source of these accusations. "Of the 18 attacks on rescuers and mourners reported at the time by credible media, twelve cases have been independently confirmed by our researchers," it reported in February 2012. "Credible news reports emerged a year later indicating that double-tap strikes had been revived," it added this August. "International media including the BBC, CNN and news agency AFP variously reported that rescuers had been targeted on five occasions between May 24 and July 23 2012, with a mosque and prayers for the dead also reportedly bombed."
The German government has approved several arms export deals with countries in the Middle East, including delivery of 23 Airbus helicopters to Saudi Arabia, according to an Economy Ministry letter seen by Reuters on Monday.
Qatar, a Gulf Arab state panned by German opposition parties as an alleged source of funding for the "Islamic State" (IS) terror militia, received combat tanks and heavy artillery, as well as ammunition and accompanying vehicles worth 1.6 billion euros.
Germany's sales to Saudi Arabia, which such groups also criticized, was to a large extent funneled through joint delivery programs run with other nations, especially France, according to the report cited by WamS.
Last October, an interim ministry report - for the first half of 2015 - said arms exports to Saudi Arabia spanned 66 approvals worth 179 million euros in total.
Which brings us to Yemen, that largely ignored Middle Eastern nation 2,500 kilometres to the south of Syria. Like Syria, a deeply unpopular president is being desperately propped up by foreign powers, as assorted internal factions, from the ascendant Houthi rebels in the north to al-Qaeda in the south and east, take advantage of the power vacuum following the implosion of the Yemeni state in 2011. In fact, it’s fair to say that Yemen’s nominal president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, commands even less domestic support than Assad. That’s because Hadi owes his reign not to the activists who prompted the exit of his predecessor, President Saleh, but to the United Nations and the Saudi-dominated Gulf Cooperation Council, which effectively appointed him leader as part of the so-called Yemeni transition agreement in 2011. In the words of a researcher based in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa: ‘[Hadi] has no military power, no real political power, no support base on the ground, no tribal support base. In reality, what’s he got? It’s the international community.’
So in Yemen, it’s not Russia propping up a panicked, illegitimate ruler through sheer military force; it’s the ‘international community’, with Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and the UK, leading the charge. Indeed, so tenuous has Hadi’s grip on power become that over the past 18 months the Saudis – with the US and the UK providing airborne refuelling, drone-fed intelligence and billions of dollars of weaponry – have been busy trying to bomb Yemen’s restive population into submission. The UN itself estimates that, since 2015, Saudi airstrikes have killed over 4,000 civilians, and led to 2.8million people being displaced.