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ACTION ALERT: Today the Saudis Dropped US Bombs on a School Bus Filled with Children!


August 10, 2018
CODEPINK & Associated Press & Win Without War & The Hill

Wounded children, their clothes and schoolbags covered with blood, lay on hospital stretchers. The International Committee of the Red Cross said the hospital in Saada received the bodies of 29 children, all under 15 years old. It also received 48 wounded people, including 30 children. The bombs that killed these children were made in the USA. Their blood is on our hands.

https://www.codepink.org/yemeni_children_killed_by_us_bombs

ACTION ALERT: Today the Saudis Dropped
US Bombs on a School Bus Filled with Children!

CODEPINK

(August 9, 2018) -- Today the Saudis bombed a school bus in Yemen! Dozens of young children have been killed, and many more wounded. The local health department chief in Saada province said 43 were killed and at least 61 injured. Most are children under the age of 10. The bombs that killed these children were made in the USA. For people living in the United States, the blood is on our hands!

Call the State Department at 202-647-6575 and press 8 for the comment line. Say something like:
"I want the State Department to condemn the Saudis for bombing Yemeni children and I want the US to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia."

Since the Saudis intervened militarily in an internal Yemeni conflict in 2015, they have been committing war crimes by repeatedly bombing civilians, including marketplaces, hospitals, schools and homes.

According to Yemen Data Project, an independent group collecting data about the Yemen conflict, the Saudi-UAE coalition carried out 258 airstrikes on Yemen in June alone -- nearly one-third of which hit residential areas.

Meanwhile, US weapons companies, particularly Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, make billions of dollars from this carnage. If you want to stop this global proliferation of weapons, join our #Divestfromwar team by contacting divest@codepink.org.

Let the US government know how disgusted you are. Let them know that you want them to condemn the Saudis for bombing Yemeni children and you insist that the US stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Share on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word!

With heavy hearts,
Ann, Ariel, Brienne, Eric, Jodie, Kirsten, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Natasha, Paki, Rita, Sarah, Sophia and Tighe





Yemen Rebels Say Saudi Coalition Strike in North Kills 50
Ahmed Al-Haj / Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen (August 9, 2018) -- An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels hit a bus driving in a busy market in northern Yemen on Thursday, killing least 50 people including children and wounding 77, Yemen's rebel-run Al Masirah TV said citing rebel Health Ministry figures.

The Saudi-led coalition, meanwhile, said it targeted the rebels, known as Houthis, who had fired a missile at the kingdom's south on Wednesday, killing one person who was a Yemeni resident in the area.

Al Masirah TV aired dramatic images of wounded children, their clothes and schoolbags covered with blood as they lay on hospital stretchers. The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Twitter that its team at an ICRC supported hospital in Saada received the bodies of 29 children, all under 15 years old. It also received 48 wounded people, including 30 children, it said.

The attack took place in the Dahyan market in Saada province, a Houthi stronghold. The province lies along the border with Saudi Arabia. The bus was ferrying local civilians, including many children, according to Yemeni tribal leaders who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

There was no breakdown in the casualties and it was not immediately clear how many of the victims were on the bus itself and how many were pedestrians in the immediate area around it. It was also unclear if there were other airstrikes in the area.

Col. Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said the attack in Saada targeted the rebels who had fired a missile at the kingdom's south, killing one person and wounding 11 others. The coalition said Wednesday's projectile, fired toward the southwestern Saudi city of Jizan, was intercepted and destroyed but its fragments caused the casualties.

The statement, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, also said the missile was launched "deliberately to target residential and populated areas."

Al-Malki insisted Thursday's attack carried out in Saada is a "legitimate military action" and is "in accordance with international humanitarian law and customs." He also accused the Houthis of recruiting children and using them in the battlefields to cover for their actions.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the coalition air strike and called on all parties to spare civilians and "to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular the fundamental rules of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack," UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.

The secretary-general "calls for an independent and prompt investigation into this incident" and urgently renews his call for a negotiated solution to the Yemen conflict, Haq said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said US officials can't confirm all the details about the attack, but are concerned about reports of civilian deaths.

"We call on the Saudi-led coalition to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident," Nauert said. "We take all credible accounts of civilian casualties very seriously."

Saudi Arabia backs Yemen's internationally recognized government and has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015. The rebels control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

"Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of ten," the head of the ICRC in Yemen, Johannes Bruwer, said on his Twitter account, adding that the ICRC in Yemen is "sending additional supplies to hospitals to cope with the influx."

Later on Thursday, airstrikes hit the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and sounds of the blasts reverberated across the city's southern and western neighborhoods. It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties in those strikes.

Yemen's stalemated, three-year war has killed over 10,000 people, badly damaged Yemen's infrastructure and crippled its health system. The coalition faces widespread international criticism for its airstrikes in Yemen that kill civilians.

Impoverished Yemen, on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is now in the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.

Last week, Yemeni medical officials said the coalition conducted airstrikes in the rebel-held port city of Hodeida, killing at least 28 people and wounding 70. But the coalition denied carrying out any attacks in the city, saying it follows a "strict and transparent approach based on the rules international law."

The fight for the port of Hodeida, a key lifeline for supplies and aid for Yemen's population on the brink of starvation, has become the latest battleground in the devastating war.

The Iran-aligned Houthis regularly fire into Saudi Arabia and have targeted its capital, Riyadh, with ballistic missiles. They say their missile attacks on the kingdom are in retaliation for air raids on Yemen by the Western-backed coalition.

The UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has been pushing to bring the warring parties to restart peace talks. He recently announced plans to invite Yemen's warring parties to Geneva on Sept. 6 to hold the first round of consultations.

Associated Press writer Menna Zaki in Cairo contributed to this report. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Milestone Yemen Reforms:
Too Late for Victims of Today's Bombing

Win Without War

(August 9, 2018) -- Two weeks ago, the House of Representatives finally passed legislation to rein in the United States' role in the brutal war in Yemen . . . for the first time. Ever.

For three years, Win Without War has been fighting to drag the United States' unconstitutional war in Yemen out of the shadows. Activists like you called, emailed, and spoke up again and again to say: Our tax dollars are helping to bomb and starve Yemeni civilians, and it's got to stop. . . .

Two weeks ago . . . , a few key leaders in the House of Representatives . . . pushed through reforms that will finally start to hold the Pentagon accountable for enabling Saudi-U.A.E. brutality in Yemen.

I'll be honest -- the fact this oversight is even necessary is heartbreaking.

One provision will stop the United States military from refueling coalition planes in midair as they bomb schools, hospitals, and weddings, unless they negotiate an end to their horrific intervention. Another will expose whether the Pentagon is helping torture Yemeni civilians, and cut off assistance to UAE forces who are. [FY19 NDAA, Sec. 1290 and Sec. 1274]

These shouldn't be controversial provisions. We're talking about basic human rights and accountability for our actions abroad. But the fact is, it took a huge push from key leaders in Congress to get even these provisions passed. . . . [T]he House passed these reforms as part of the mega-massive, must-pass annual defense spending bill -- the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA.

The good news is, passing these provisions is a huge boost of momentum to end the United States' role in the brutal war in Yemen for good. Now, let's keep that momentum going by reminding our representatives that their constituents are watching.

You know as well as I do: As long as our tax dollars are helping drive the world's worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen, this fight's not over. But this victory proves just how powerful our grassroots movement for peace is.

Thank you,
Kate, Erica, Cassandra, and the Win Without War team



Commentary by Pat Elder

(August 9, 2018) -- Under the provision included in the NDAA, the secretary of State must certify to Congress that the Saudi coalition is undertaking efforts to end the civil war; alleviate the humanitarian disaster by increasing access to food, fuel and medicine; reduce delays in shipments of humanitarian supplies; and reduce the risk of harm to civilians.

Without the certification, the United States would be banned from refueling Saudi coalition aircraft for missions exclusively focused on the war in Yemen. The United States could still refuel coalition aircraft for certain other missions, such as those against al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The secretary could also issue a waiver allowing the refueling for national security reasons. The waiver could not be granted without submitting a detailed justification to Congress. . . .

With today's school bus blow up in mind, Should we be making more of a case against certification?

My comment has to do with the insertion of this line: "The secretary could also issue a waiver allowing the refueling for national security reasons. The waiver could not be granted without submitting a detailed justification to Congress."

This seems like a big fat kowtow to the Trump administration.


Final Defense Bill Would Limit
US Support to Saudi Campaign in Yemen

Rebecca Kheel /The Hill

(July 23, 2018) – The final version of this year's defense policy bill would put conditions on the US refueling of Saudi Arabian and Emirati planes bombing Yemen.

The compromise National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) unveiled by House and Senate Armed Services Committee staffers Monday retained and modified a provision from the Senate-passed version that would require the Saudi-led coalition to meet certain criteria before the US military can refuel its planes.

"Yemen remains an area of intense interest and concern for our members, and we have aggressive oversight in the conference report," a senior staffer told reporters at a background briefing.

A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015. The United States has been supporting the Saudi campaign with billions of dollars in arms sales, intelligence sharing and logistics like air refueling.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have grown increasingly frustrated at the Saudi campaign as the civilian death toll rises, most of which has been blamed on Saudi airstrikes.

The congressional angst was further stoked last month when coalition forces, led by the United Arab Emirates, launched an offensive on the key port of Hodeida despite international warnings that such an assault could be catastrophic.

Under the provision included in the Senate-passed NDAA, the secretary of State would have to certify to Congress that the Saudi coalition is undertaking efforts to end the civil war; alleviate the humanitarian disaster by increasing access to food, fuel and medicine; reduce delays in shipments of humanitarian supplies; and reduce the risk of harm to civilians.

Without the certification, the United States would be banned from refueling Saudi coalition aircraft for missions exclusively focused on the war in Yemen. The United States could still refuel coalition aircraft for certain other missions, such as those against al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The secretary could also issue a waiver allowing the refueling for national security reasons. The waiver could not be granted without submitting a detailed justification to Congress.

On Monday, a staffer told reporters the language in the final NDAA was adjusted to specify Emirati planes also would be banned from getting US refueling without the certification.

The White House said last month that it "strongly objects" to the provision in the Senate bill that would place restrictions on Saudi Arabia.

"The administration shares the concern of the Congress regarding the humanitarian situation in Yemen," the statement of administration policy said. "Section 1266 inaccurately implies, however, that the Saudi-led coalition is the only party to the conflict whose actions have resulted in the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. The provision fails to address material support the Government of Iran has provided to the Houthis in order to foment the conflict in Yemen in opposition to the Yemeni government."

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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