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Washington Suspends Export of Cluster Bombs to Saudi Arabia

Washington, May 28 (RHC)-- The United States has reportedly suspended the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia amid growing concerns that the kingdom has used the weapons in its bombing campaign in Yemen. Reports say that the move follows rising criticism by members of the U.S. Congress of Washington’s support for its ally in the year-long aggression, which has killed more than 9,400 people.

The White House has sold weapons and provided training, targeting information, and logistical support to Saudi Arabia since the bombing campaign began on March 26, 2015 in a bid to restore power to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

Washington has also sold Riyadh millions of dollars’ worth of internationally-banned cluster bombs in recent years. Cluster bombs contain bomblets that spread out widely and kill and injure civilians indiscriminately. The bomblets sometimes fail to explode upon impact and can kill civilians months or even years later.

A 2009 U.S. law prohibits export of cluster bombs with a failure rate of above one percent. It also stipulates that the munitions cannot be used “where civilians are known to be present.”

Amnesty International said last week that its most recent mission to Yemen has found evidence of U.S., UK and Brazilian cluster munitions used by Saudi forces.

 

Edited by Ed Newman
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