War Crimes in Yemen

The United Nations Human Rights Council has released a devastating new report on war crimes in Yemen. The report was released today by an independent panel of experts empowered by the Human Rights Council to identify major human rights violations that have occurred during Yemen’s long and ongoing war.

Though this is ostensibly a civil war, outside powers are both direct and indirect belligerents that are responsible for widespread war crimes.

The report finds a litany of crimes committed by the Saudi led coalition, which has engaged in a brutal campaign of air strikes, the targets of which were mostly civilian non-combatants, including many children.  “In the incidents investigated, it found concerns with coalition processes and procedures for target selection and execution of airstrikes based upon the apparently disproportionate impact on civilians,” the report said. 

In what the report says was emblematic of this pattern of attacking civilians though coalition airstrikes, the report listed the following incidents.

The report also found a similar pattern of total disregard for civilian safety by the opposition Houthi forces, which receive the backing of Iran.

The Report Strongly Suggests that Saudi Arabia’s Western Backers, including the USA, France and the UK bear responsibility for war crimes.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France are backing Saudi Arabia’s war efforts in Yemen. These countries have both supplied Saudi Arabia with arms, and in the case of the United States have provided technical assistance to Saudi Arabian forces as they have carried out their bombing campaign in Yemen.


Meanwhile, this conflict continues to exact a huge toll on civilians, tens of thousands of whom have been killed since 2014. In an unprecedented move, the Human Rights Council also released this video to coincide with the release of the Panel of Experts report.


To Learn More About the Yemen Crisis, Listen to this Global Dispatches Podcast episode. 

How Shipping Containers Explain the Conflict in Yemen

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