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Saudi Arabia Used U.S. Supplied Cluster Bombs in Yemen Human Rights Watch

Saudi Arabia Used U.S. Supplied Cluster Bombs in Yemen

 

Human Rights Watch has accused Saudi Arabia of dropping U.S.-supplied cluster bombs in the Yemen bombardment.

If the cluster bombs fail to detect their target, they are designed to self-destruct in the air, or if that fails, to deactivate themselves after a short time. But sometimes those mechanisms don't work, posing a lethal danger for those who later encounter them.

Saudi Arabia says there are only Yemeni forces that Saudi Arabia is supporting, according to Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, a Saudi military spokesman. He told CNN Saudi Arabia has been using CBU-105 in Yemen against armored vehicles and not in the city.

Human Rights Watch included video, marked-up satellite maps and photos in its report.

The video shows delivery devices falling from the sky by small parachutes then deploying its bombs with a burst of black smoke in midair. Shallow explosions spread over areas on the ground below. The images were shot by pro-Houthis in April, HRW said.

The U.S. Department of Defense has said it will stop the transfer to foreign governments of cluster munitions that leave behind more than 1% of their bombs unexploded -- but not until after 2018.

"Saudi-led cluster munition airstrikes have been hitting areas near villages, putting local people in danger," Steve Goose, the director of HRW's arms division, said in a statement. "These weapons should never be used under any circumstances."

The human rights activists say the cluster munitions were dropped over northern Saada governorate, a Houthi stronghold near Saudi Arabia. The satellite map shows the target area in the mountains above the villages of al-Ssam and al-Safraa.

About 5,000 people live in al-Safraa in times of peace, HRW said.Saudi Arabia Used U.S. Supplied Cluster Bombs in Yemen.