WP learns about US aid to the Saudi military in Yemen airstrikes

The Washington Post learned that the United States provided military support to the Saudi Air Force in Yemen The armed conflict in Yemen began in 2015. At first, the US worried that the airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition might violate the customs of war. However, then they began to conclude military contracts with this country

The consequences of the airstrikes of the Saudi-led coalition on the city of Sanaa in Yemen, March 2022

The United States supported the air force of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which has been targeting Yemeni civilian infrastructure since 2015, The Washington Post and Security Force Monitor found out in a joint investigation.

The journalists analyzed more than 3,000 publicly available images, press releases, media reports and videos and identified 19 fighter squadrons that participated in the military campaign.

They found that most of the aircraft belonged to Saudi Arabia or the UAE, which entered into at least 94 contracts with the United States for weapons, training or maintenance. Most of the 39 squadrons of countries— members of the coalition who had the ability to carry out airstrikes flew fighter jets designed and sold by American companies.

The United States participated in joint exercises with at least 80% of the squadrons that carried out strikes on Yemen, an analysis of more than 1,500 videos, photos and military statements showed. Moreover, approximately four times such exercises were held in the United States.

Since 2015, US officials have raised concerns that coalition airstrikes may have violated the rules of war. They also trained the Saudi Air Force in civilian casualty prevention, the law of armed conflict and human rights. After four years of hostilities, in 2019, the United States adopted a policy requiring high-precision missile guidance.

Since the bombing began in 2015, the United States has awarded dozens of contracts to support the F-15SA fighter and upgrade other aircraft from the same series and pilot training. The last fighter jet was delivered to Saudi Arabia in 2020.

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“Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates face a significant threat to their territories. We intend to continue to strengthen the defense capabilities of these countries, — Pentagon spokesman Ned Price said in a comment to the publication. He explained the support by the fact that over the past year the Houthis have attacked Saudi Arabia hundreds of times.

Since August 2014, a conflict has been going on in Yemen between government forces and armed groups of the Houthis. In March 2015, the conflict moved into an active phase, when coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia entered Yemen.

According to the UN, more than 17.4 million Yemenis suffer from food shortages due to the consequences of hostilities. To resolve the humanitarian crisis in the country, UNICEF will need $484.4 million in 2022 alone. The situation is complicated by military operations in Ukraine, from which Yemen receives 30% of all wheat.

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