Civilian deaths in Yemen up by 164 percent: report

Civilian deaths in Yemen have skyrocketed by 164 percent since June amid Saudi-led efforts to take a major Yemeni city, according to a new report. 

The report, from the oversight group Armed Location and Event Data (ACLED), found that the average number of civilian deaths in Yemen each month has risen to 116 since Saudi and Emeriti coalitions launched an offensive to take Al-Hudaydah city. 

{mosads}August was Yemen’s most violent month in 2018, with nearly 500 people killed over the course of nine days, Frank McManus, the International Rescue Committee’s Yemen Country Director,  said in a press release. Many civilian deaths, he said, have been caused by Saudi-led airstrikes.

The U.S. supplies arms and intelligence to Saudi Arabia.

The ACLED’s report comes a few weeks after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are taking steps to alleviate Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and end the war.

“The U.S. State Department’s recent certification to Congress that the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition in Yemen is taking demonstrable actions to reduce civilian harm and alleviate the humanitarian crisis is inconsistent with what International Rescue Committee staff experience across Yemen daily,” McManus said. 

Democrats have been seeking ways to roll back or cut U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s bloody civil war. A group of House Democrats is planning to introduce a resolution that would withdraw U.S. forces from Yemen.

Democrats’ frustration with U.S. involvement in the war escalated this month after the Saudi-led coalition bombed a school bus full of children, killing 51 people. Forty of those who died were children.

“The Saudis deliberately bombed a bus full of children. There is only one moral answer, and that is to end our support for their intervention in Yemen,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who is leading the House effort, said on Twitter at the time. 

The bomb in the deadly attack was manufactured by a U.S. firm, according to later investigations.

“While all sides — including Houthi authorities and the Saudi-led and Emirati-led Coalition — are guilty of violations of international humanitarian law, the United States and the United Kingdom are supporting the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition with weapons and military support,” McManus said, calling for all “parties to immediately stop the fighting and allow room for a UN-led peace process.” 

The report came out during a meeting of world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York City. 

Tags Mike Pompeo Ro Khanna

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