“Five years into the conflict, violations against Yemeni civilians continue unabated, with total disregard for the plight of the people and a lack of international action to hold parties to the conflict accountable.”
A comprehensive and damning United Nations report released Tuesday said the U.S., France, and Britain may be guilty of complicity in war crimes for providing the Saudi-led coalition with logistical support and weapons to carry out its years-long assault on Yemen.
“Five years into the conflict, violations against Yemeni civilians continue unabated, with total disregard for the plight of the people and a lack of international action to hold parties to the conflict accountable,” saidKamel Jendoubi, chairperson of the Group of Experts on Yemen, which was created by the U.N. Human Rights Council.
“We must use Congress’s power of the purse to block every nickel of taxpayer money from going to assist the Saudi dictatorship as it bombs and starves civilians in Yemen.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
The 274-page report (pdf) said the U.S., France, and Britain may have failed to live up to their obligations under international law by continuing to provide weaponry, training intelligence, and logistical support for a Saudi-led coalition that is guilty of bombing hospitals, homes, a school bus, and other civilian targets.
“The legality of arms transfers by France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other states remains questionable,” the report states, “and is the subject of various domestic court proceedings.”
In a statement, Jendoubi condemned the nations involved in the Saudi-led war on Yemen for refusing to investigate and punish human rights violatons.
“This endemic impunity—for violations and abuses by all parties to the conflict—cannot be tolerated anymore,” said Jendoubi. “Impartial and independent inquiries must be empowered to hold accountable those who disrespect the rights of the Yemeni people. The international community must stop turning a blind eye to these violations and the intolerable humanitarian situation.”
The report, which is the product of a two-year investigation, comes days after the Saudi-led coalition killed more than 100 people in airstrikes on a Yemeni detention center. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the attack may have amounted to a war crime.
Following the attack, a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren launched a new effort to end U.S. complicity in the Saudi-led assault on Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of people and caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The Washington Post reported late Monday that the lawmakers are working to bar the U.S. government from providing logistical support for the Saudi-led coalition’s air raids.
The group called on the Senate to not remove an amendment to the annual defense policy legislation that would prohibit the U.S. from cooperating with Saudi airstrikes.
In a letter to top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, which are set to hash out differences between the two chambers’ defense policy bills, the group of lawmakers said “inclusion of this amendment would ensure that our men and women in uniform are not involved in a war which has never been authorized by Congress, and continues to undermine rather than advance U.S. national security interests.”
The letter, first obtained by the Post, was signed by Sens. Warren (D-Mass.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and dozens of others.
As Common Dreams reported in April, President Donald Trump vetoed a stand-alone War Powers resolution that would have ended U.S. military support for the Saudi-led assault on Yemen.
Sanders said in a statement to the Post on Monday that Congress has a responsibility to continue asserting its constitutional authority to bring U.S. complicity in the war on Yemen to an end.
“Now,” said Sanders, “we must use Congress’s power of the purse to block every nickel of taxpayer money from going to assist the Saudi dictatorship as it bombs and starves civilians in Yemen.”
Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report
President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.
Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.
‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.
The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.
Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.
"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.
David Holmes’ opening statement to Congress directly implicated Donald Trump: report
Congress will hear first-hand testimony of President Donald Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal.
"David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard President Donald Trump's conversation with the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that the Ukranian President would do 'anything you ask him to,' and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to 'do the investigation,'" CNN reported Friday.
""Sondland told Trump that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky 'loves your ass,'" Holmes testified. "I then heard President Trump ask, 'So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that 'he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do 'anything you ask him to.'"