UN Panel on Yemen Raises Questions of International Humanitarian Law Violations

By Jeff Najjar

A United Nations panel claims the Saudi-led bombing in Yemen has resulted in “widespread and systematic” attacks on civilian targets in violation of international humanitarian law.  The panel’s 51-page report, which was submitted to the Security Council but not officially published, was leaked last week.  The report documents “119 coalition sorties relating to violations of international humanitarian law,” and found that the “coalition had conducted airstrikes targeting civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international humanitarian law, including camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure.”

In response to the criticism surrounding the bombings in Yemen, the Saudi-led military coalition announced the formation of a “high-level independent committee” to investigate the bombardments which rights groups have called war crimes.