Sunday, May 18, 2014 9:30 PM
Riyadh used cluster bombs against Houthis: Report
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz
Saudi Arabia has reportedly used cluster bombs against the Houthis in northern Yemen in 2009, a new report has said.
A documentary report by US television network HBO said Saudi forces dropped bombs on areas in Yemen’s northern province of Sa’ada, adding that the bombs are still claiming civilians' lives.
The report noted that shells which were marked with a model type, CBU-52B/B, and labels that read “US AIR FORCE” were found in Sa’ada.
IHS Jane’s, a defense and security analysis firm, said the Saudis used European Tornado IDS and American-made F-15S aircraft in the fighting, the report added.
“Most of the planes they used to drop the cluster bombs were Tornadoes,” Hamoud Gabish, the deputy director of al-Hayyat humanitarian organization, said of a series of attacks that, by his estimate, resulted in bombs being dropped on 164 locations in Sa’ada.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, Gabish held the US and UK accountable for the bombings and their aftermath.
The US and UK militaries provide training and logistical support to the Saudi army and UK and American firms including BAE Systems and Boeing have profitable service and supply contracts with the Saudi Air Force. BAE led the manufacture of the Tornado, and Boeing merged with F-15 maker McDonnell Douglas in 1997.
In November 2009, Saudi forces started fighting against the Houthis and bombing their positions after accusing the fighters of killing Saudi border guards.
The Houthis have been fighting against the central government in Sana’a for years. They complain that they have been economically and politically marginalized by the Yemeni government.
Cluster bombs are weapons dropped by aircraft or fired from the ground and they scatter submunitions over a wide area. Campaigners say many of these submunitions or bomblets fail to blow up during wars, posing a long-lasting threat to civilians, particularly farmers and children.
Last August, the US Defense Department gave a contract valued at $641 million to manufacture 1,300 cluster bombs for Saudi Arabia to Textron Defense Systems, a unit of Textron Inc. (TXT.N).
Syrian army carried out wide military operations against armed terrorist groups on Sunday in several areas around the country, state-run SANA news agency reported.
In Homs countryside, army units targeted gatherings and dens of the foreign-backed militants in al-Rastan, Talbiseh, Hosh Hajjo, al-Dweir al-Shamali and al-Nassiriyeh, killing many of the terrorists and injuring others.
In Daraa, army units destroyed terrorists' vehicles, weapons and ammunition in the city and its countryside.
A military source said that army units targeted armed mercenaries' dens to the southern west of al-Yarmouk Suburb, to the west of Sajna, in the area surrounding al-Masri roundabout in al-Manshieh neighborhood in Daraa city, killing many of the terrorists and destroying an armored vehicle with all terrorists inside.
The source added that army units destroyed a tunnel that was used by terrorists in their criminal acts in al-Kark area, killing many terrorists.
Other army units destroyed two mortar launchers and a vehicle equipped with a machinegun, in addition to several vehicles on the road of al-Yadouda town, to the west of Atman town and in the surrounding area of Jadal village in al-Lajat area.
In Aleppo, a military source told SANA that an army unit confronted armed terrorist groups to the west of al-Zahraa neighborhood and Alleramoun factories in Aleppo city, killing and injuring all their members.
The source added that other army units targeted the gatherings and hideouts of the leaders of gunmen groups in the neighborhoods of al-Rashidin, Bani Zaid, al-Kastilo, Hanano and al-Mansourah in the old city, killing a number of terrorists and injuring others.
The national military also killed terrorists and injured others in the villages of Marea, Handarat, Khan al-Assal, al-Mesilmiyeh, Daret Ezza, Anadan, Ezzan, Ba'idin, Kafer Naha, Maaret al-Artiq, the industrial city and surrounding the central prison in Aleppo countryside and destroyed their tools.
In Deir-Ezzor, an explosive device claimed the lives of four citizens and injured 12 others when terrorists blew it up in a bus on the rural path.
A source in the province told SANA reporter that terrorists detonated an explosive device while a bus was moving on a road in Deir Ezzor desert.
Last March, terrorists detonated an explosive device while a bus was moving also in Deir Ezzor heading to Damascus killing 3 citizens and injuring 7 others.