Yemen Civilians Keep Dying, but Pompeo Says Saudis Are Doing Enough
Yemenis digging graves for children killed when their school bus was hit during an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition in August.CreditCreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images
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Despite attacks that have killed dozens of civilians at a time, the Trump administration on Wednesday certified that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are doing enough to minimize the deadly impact of their military campaign in Yemen.
The certification, announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was legally required to allow American military aircraft to continue refueling warplanes belonging to the two Gulf nations, the dominant members of an Arab coalition fighting a brutal war in Yemen that has helped create the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Mr. Pompeo’s move came amid rising concern in Washington about the coalition’s prosecution of the war and worries among some lawmakers that American weapons were being used to commit war crimes and that American officials could be held liable.
Last month, the coalition launched an airstrike near a bus full of students on a religious outing, killing dozens in an attack that Human Rights Watch called “an apparent war crime.”
In response to similar assaults, Congress included in a defense bill signed by Mr. Trump last month a clause that required Mr. Pompeo to certify that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were doing enough to avoid harming civilians. Without that certification, they would lose the aerial refueling services provided by the United States. In his statement on Wednesday, Mr. Pompeo said they were doing enough.
“The governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments,” Mr. Pompeo said.
Source: New Your Times