The alleged torture, dismemberment and killing of Saudi citizen and US permanent resident Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul has triggered justifiable outrage throughout the United States and around the world. But amid the outcry over Khashoggi’s death, many media and public figures still fail to acknowledge the war crimes Saudi Arabia is committing in Yemen with US assistance.
Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had written critically about the Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Post reported that Mohammed had recently attempted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia in an operation resembling an extrajudicial “rendition,” where a person is forcibly removed from one country and taken to another for interrogation. Bloomberg reported that the United States knew the Saudis planned to seize Khashoggi because US intelligence services had intercepted communications between Saudi officials discussing the plan. According to Turkish sources, participants in Khashoggi’s killing and dismemberment were Saudi operatives.
Six days after Khashoggi’s disappearance, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman made the astounding claim,
“If Jamal has been abducted and murdered by agents of the Saudi government … [i]t would be an unfathomable violation of norms of human decency, worse not in numbers but in principle than even the Yemen war.”
In fact, Saudi Arabia is committing war crimes in Yemen and the US government is aiding and abetting them.
Saudi-US War Crimes Committed in Yemen
The Saudi-led coalition is bombing Yemen in order to defeat the Houthi rebels who have been resisting government repression. This war is the culmination of a long-standing grievance the Houthis have had with the state, which was weakened during the Arab spring. Yemen is strategically located on a narrow waterway that links the Gulf of Aden with the Red Sea.
In August, the coalition dropped a 500-pound, laser-guided MK 82 bomb on a bus at a market in Dahyan, killing 51 people, including 40 children. The bomb was manufactured by Lockheed Martin, a leading US defense contractor. Provision of that bomb was part of a US-Saudi arms deal last year.
The August bombing conducted with US-manufactured weapons was not an isolated incident.