NATO powers such as the United Kingdom and the United States support the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen primarily through arms sales and technical assistance. France had also made recent military sales to Saudi Arabia. MSF emergency coordinator Karline Kleijer called the US, France and the UK part of the Saudi-led coalition, which imposed the weapons embargo and blocked all ships from entering Yemen with supplies. Rights groups have criticized the countries for supplying arms, and accuse the coalition of using cluster munitions, which are banned in most countries. Oxfam pointed out that Germany, Iran, and Russia have also reportedly sold arms to the conflicting forces. Tariq Riebl, head of programmes in Yemen for Oxfam, said, "it's difficult to argue that a weapon sold to Saudi Arabia would not in some way be used in Yemen," or "if it's not used in Yemen it enables the country to use other weapons in Yemen." Amnesty International urged the US and the UK to stop supplying arms to Saudi Arabia and to the Saudi-led coalition. On August 3, 2019, a United Nations report said the US, UK and France may be complicit in committing war crimes in Yemen by selling weapons and providing support to the Saudi-led coalition which is using the deliberate starvation of civilians as a tactic of warfare. Arms sale by United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in 2019 reportedly soared by £1bn, i.e. 300%, in comparison to the figures in 2018. Andrew Smith of the Campaign Against Arms Trade condemned the increase and criticized the UK arms industry of being dominated by human rights abusers and dictatorships. UK-made fighter jets have been accused of causing catastrophic damage in Yemen. According to a May 28, 2020 article by The New York Times, the Trump administration in January 2020 told lawmakers that it was planning to sell a cache of munitions to Saudi Arabia, despite the kingdom’s human rights record. Reportedly, the sale of the said $478 million, precision-guided missiles used in Yemen war to Saudi, and approval of licenses permitting Raytheon to expand manufacturing in Riyadh are objected by lawmakers in both, Democrats and Republican parties.
In November 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that ISIL was committing crimes against humanity. A report by Human Rights Watch in November 2014 accused ISIL groups in control of Derna, Libya of war crimes and human rights abuses and of terrorising residents. Human Rights Watch documented three apparent summary executions and at least ten public floggings by the Islamic Youth Shura Council, which joined ISIL in November. It also documented the beheading of three Derna residents and dozens of seemingly politically motivated assassinations of judges, public officials, members of the security forces and others. Sarah Leah Watson, Director of HRW Middle East and North Africa, said: "Commanders should understand that they may face domestic or international prosecution for the grave rights abuses their forces are committing."More Info
Egypt and Saudi Arabia committed warships to support coalition operations. Somalia offered its airspace and territorial waters. Four Egyptian Navy vessels steamed toward the Gulf of Aden after operations began. Riyadh requested access to Somali airspace and waters to carry out operations. On 27 March, the Egyptian military said a squadron of Egyptian and Saudi warships took up positions at the Bab al-Mandab strait. The Saudi military threatened to destroy any ship attempting to make port.More Info
By September 2014, Houthi fighters captured Sanaʽa, toppling Hadi's government. Soon after, a peace deal (known as the 'Peace and Partnership Agreement') was sealed between the Hadi government and the Houthis, but was not honored by either party. The deal was drafted with the intent of defining a power-sharing government. A conflict over a draft constitution resulted in the Houthis consolidating control over the Yemeni capital in January 2015. After resigning from his post alongside his prime minister and remaining under virtual house arrest for one month, Hadi fled to Aden in southern Yemen in February. Upon arriving in Aden, Hadi withdrew his resignation, saying that the actions of the Houthis from September 2014 had amounted to a "coup" against him. By 25 March, forces answering to Sanaʽa were rapidly closing in on Aden, which Hadi had declared to be Yemen's temporary capital.More Info
In October 2017, a Yemeni citizen died under "severe torture" inside a secret prison run by the United Arab Emirates in the south of Yemen. As videos showed, the body of Ahmed Dubba revealed disturbing signs of torture after it was released from Khanfar Prison. According to media reports, UAE forces in Yemen had carried out a detention campaign against religious scholars and preachers who opposed their presence in the country where prisoners were subject to physical and psychological torture. According to Yemeni rights group Sam, the issue of secret prisons in Yemen has become a regular phenomenon.More Info
The Saudi-led campaign has received widespread criticism and had a dramatic worsening effect on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, that reached the level of a "humanitarian disaster" or "humanitarian catastrophe". After the Saudi-led coalition declared the entire Saada Governorate a military target, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen and Human Rights Watch expressed concern that the bombing there was unnecessarily harming civilians. On 1 July UN declared for Yemen a "level-three" emergency—the highest UN emergency level—for a period of six months. Human rights groups repeatedly blamed the Saudi-led military coalition for killing civilians and destroying health centres and other infrastructure with airstrikes. The de facto blockade left 78% (20 million) of the Yemeni population in urgent need of food, water and medical aid. Aid ships are allowed, but the bulk of commercial shipping, on which the country relies, is blocked. In one incident, coalition jets prevented an Iranian Red Crescent plane from landing by bombing Sanaʽa International Airport's runway, which blocked aid delivery by air. As of 10 December, more than 2,500,000 people had been internally displaced by the fighting. Many countries evacuated more than 23,000 foreign citizens from Yemen. More than 1,000,000 people fled Yemen for Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Oman. The war has caused a humanitarian crisis, including a famine which has threatened over 17 million people, as well as an outbreak of cholera which has infected hundreds of thousands.More Info
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