Shrapnel in Yemen strikes links US-made bombs to 63 civilian deaths: report

Shrapnel in Yemen strikes links US-made bombs to 63 civilian deaths: report
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Remnants of U.S.-made bombs have been found at the scene of multiple airstrikes in Yemen in the past several years that have killed dozens of civilians, CNN reports.

The Yemen-based independent human rights group Mwatana released documents to the network that show U.S.-made fragments at multiple locations since Yemen's civil war began in 2015. At least 63 civilians were killed in the strikes, CNN reports, with dozens more injured or put at risk.

Mwatana, which documents violations by all parties in the war, had field researchers photograph bomb fragments at the scene of strikes, then used weapons experts to identify where the weapons came from using serial numbers on the armaments.

Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaTerm limit fight highlights growing pains for Pelosi’s majority GOP-controlled Senate breaks with Trump on Saudi vote House GOP blocks lawmakers from forcing Yemen war votes for rest of year MORE (D-Calif.), said that the report should be a “wake-up call to all Americans.”

“American bombs are being dropped on innocent civilians in Yemen and we are fueling the planes that drop these bombs,” Khanna said in a statement after the report’s release.

“The American people know far too little about the role we are playing in a war that is causing suffering for millions of people. Hopefully this news will reach the living rooms of all Americans, because I have faith the great people of this country do not support a war like this.”

Yemen’s civil war began after Houthi rebels took over the capital of Sanaa. Saudi Arabia, concerned about Iran’s support for the rebels, formed a coalition to intervene on behalf of the internationally recognized government.

The United States supports the Saudi effort with aerial refueling, intelligence sharing and billions of dollars in arms sales.

Khanna is leading a group of House Democrats trying to curtail or cut off U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition. They are planning to introduce a resolution under the War Powers Act that would withdraw U.S. forces from the war.

The issue has been front and center this week with the administration, with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoShowdown at the Security Council? Hillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — Facebook bug exposed photos of up to 6.8M users | Canada warns Trump not to intervene in Huawei case | Tech giant accused of providing cybersecurity to terror groups Canada warns Trump: Huawei extradition shouldn't be ‘politicized’ MORE saying that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are taking steps to end the war, alleviate Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and protect civilians.

The administration acknowledged some problems, however, stating that “recent civilian casualty incidents indicate insufficient implementation of reforms and targeting practices. Investigations have not yet yielded accountability measures,” according to the memo to Congress announcing the certification.

Mwatana’s chairwoman, Radhya al-Mutawakel, told CNN that the United States bears a “legal and moral responsibility for selling weapons to the Saudi-led coalition” that worsens the civil war.

At least 6,660 civilians have been killed in the war as of Aug. 23, according to the United Nations – a figure largely blamed on coalition airstrikes.

The United States says it does not make targeting decisions for the Saudi-led coalition.

“The final decisions on the conduct of operations in the campaign are made by the members of the Saudi-led coalition, not the United States,” Pentagon spokeswoman Cdr. Rebecca Rebarich told CNN.

Rebarich urged “all parties to take all feasible precautions to avoid harm to civilians” and said Washington took “all credible accounts of civilian casualties seriously.”