Saudis Issue Royal Pardon for Everything Soldiers Have Done in Yemen

Saudi Arabia Issues Royal Pardon for Everything Soldiers Have Done in Yemen

No punishment for any troops' misdeeds

Posted on July 11, 2018:ANTIWAR.con

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia announced that it is issuing a royal pardon for any and all Saudi t... engaged in the war in Yemen, covering all crimes related to violating military rules and discipline. They said this is to show appreciation for the “heroics” of the invading forces.

The Saudi invasion of Yemen has been widely controversial internationally. Saudi airstrikes have killed massive numbers of Yemeni civilians, and the war has also caused a famine, and the largest cholera epidemic in human history.

Faced with UN criticism, Saudi officials heavily resisted allegations of wrongdoing, and ultimately got the UN to agree that Saudi Arabia would be allowed to investigate its own forces, and police themselves. This pardon shows none of that is going to matter.

It is unclear what prompted the pardon to be offered no, as the war shows no sign of ending, and there is no suggestion from official reports that the Saudis had punished any of their troops more than nominally for war crimes in the first place.

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Anti-War Voices Applaud 'Must-Read' Sanders Op-Ed Demanding End to US Complicity in Yemen Carnage

"I very much hope that Congress will act, that we will finally take seriously our congressional duty, end our support for the carnage in Yemen, and send the message that human lives are worth more than profits for arms manufacturers."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for an end to U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen from the Senate floor in March. (Photo: C-SPAN)

Anti-war voices are praising a new "must-read" New York Times op-ed in which Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on Congress "to redefine our relationship with Saudi Arabia, and to show that the Saudis do not have a blank check to continue violating human rights" by revoking U.S. support for the Saudi and UAE-led war in Yemen.

Noting that the humanitarian crisis in Yemen "has only worsened and our complicity become even greater" since the Senate voted in March to block a resolution (SJ Res. 54)—introduced by Sanders, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)—to end military support for the Saudis, Sanders wrote that he will bring the measure back to the floor next month.

"Amen!" tweeted CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin. "We have been in the Senate all week pushing for this bill. Join us."

Tally does not take into account deaths caused by famine or disease, however (AFP/File photo) 1200w, 992w" sizes="100vw" /> Tally does not take into account deaths caused by famine or disease, however (AFP/File photo)

True Yemen death toll five times higher than previous estimate

... researchers say

At least 56,000 people have been killed in armed violence in Yemen since January 2016, according to data collected by an independent research group, a tally that is more than five times higher than previously reported.

The new figure encompasses the deaths of both combatants and civilians in Yemen between January 2016 and 20 October 2018, explained Andrea Carboni, a research analyst at the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).

It does not take into account the Yemenis who have died as a result of the humanitarian crisis engulfing the country and its related problems, such as diseases and malnutrition.

“The fatality numbers refer to the number of people that were killed as a direct consequence of armed violence,” Carboni told Middle East Eye on Monday.

That violence includes air strikes and artillery fire from Saudi-led coalition forces currently fighting in Yemen, as well as armed clashes between various factions fighting inside the country, such as the Houthis.

Middle East Eye could not independently verify the 56,000 number.

Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign in Yemen in early 2015 to root out Houthi rebels, who had taken over the capital, Sanaa, and deposed the then-president,Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The Saudi-led coalition has been accused of committing war crimes in Yemen, such as the deliberate bombing of hospitals, buses and other civilian infrastructure. The Houthis have also been accused of taking hostages and arbitarily detaining and torturing opponents – all potential war crimes.

However, as Yemen has become increasingly closed off to outside observers and journalists amid the devastating conflict, reliable information on the number of deaths has been hard to come by.

Journalists and humanitarian workers have often cited a figure of 10,000 deaths, but that total has remained static since 2016 despite the ongoing war.

The number was also an underestimate when it was released, Carboni said, since it was based on deaths that were reported at medical facilities in the country.

“Most of the people, the casualties, do not get to medical centres. That number was actually missing a lot of the violence and the casualties that are related to it,” he said.

New Figure Likely an Underestimate

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