Yemen: surge in deadly air strikes shows urgent need to end war

Air strikes last night by the Saudi-led coalition on the Yemeni capital Sana’a killed at least 12 people, many of them civilians. The attack came the day after Yemen Data Project released an update revealing a surge in coalition air strikes and civilian casualties in December, with 32 civilians killed and 62 injured. Meanwhile, heavy fighting continues on the ground around Marib, Al Hudaydah, and elsewhere, while a Houthi drone attack on a UAE oil facility killed 3.

The Yemen Data Project, along with many campaigners, link the worsening violence to the vote by the UN Human Rights Council in October, following heavy Saudi lobbying, to end the mandate for the UN Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen, the only official international body charged with investigating human rights violations by all sides.

Sam Perlo-Freeman of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:

The war in Yemen continues to cause horrific human suffering and death, with all sides committing atrocities with complete impunity. The US and UK continue to encourage and directly fuel the Saudi war effort with massive arms sales, while the only international accountability mechanism for Yemen has been cancelled as a result of Saudi threats and bribes. As we approach seven years of devastating bombardment, both sides are maintaining a futile quest for battlefield victory, while the humanitarian crisis deepens.

All arms supplies to the warring parties – by the US, UK, France, Iran, or anyone else – must stop, and the international community must engage in serious efforts to end the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen, ensure adequate delivery of aid, pursue accountability for abuses by all sides, and ultimately bring this catastrophic war to an end.

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