Saudi-led bombings on Sanaa reportedly used cluster bombs

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that air-strikes by Saudi Arabia using cluster bombs in the capital Sanaa may amount to a "war crime."

Stephane Dujarric said Ban was deeply concerned by the intensification of the air-strikes in residential areas. The strikes are reported to have hit the Chamber of Commerce, a wedding hall and even a center for the blind. Dujarric said the UN had received reports of cluster bombs being used in Sanaa. The bombs have been used earlier but in the north, not in a large city such as Sanaa. Dujarric said: "The use of cluster munitions in populated areas may amount to a war crime due to their indiscriminate nature." There is an international ban on the use of cluster bombs but neither the US, nor Saudi Arabia have signed on to the ban. Human Rights Watch, a human rights group, reported their use in Sanaa and claimed they were manufactured in the US. It would seem that they are very old stock. Perhaps the U.S. were glad to find a buyer for the bombs:
The human rights advocacy group identified the munitions “as US-made BLU-63 antipersonnel/anti-material submunitions and components of a CBU-58 cluster bomb. It added that parts of the bomb remnants had markings indicating that it was manufactured in the US in 1978. According to US export records obtained by HRW, Washington transferred 1,000 such bombs to Saudi Arabia sometime between 1970 and 1995.
The Saudi strikes also hit a Doctors Without Frontiers hospital in the north in the Saada governorate, the heartland of the Houthi rebels, but this was just one of many health facilities hit: UNICEF said the hospital in Saada was the 39th health center hit in Yemen since March. "More children in Yemen may well die from a lack of medicines and healthcare than from bullets."
Iran claimed its embassy in Sanaa was bombed intentionally. This is bound to increase already tense relations between the two countries subsequent to the recent execution of a prominent Saudi Shia cleric. This caused widespread protests that included an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran. In response, the Saudis broke off diplomatic relations with Iran. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hossein Ansari, said: "Saudi Arabia is responsible for this action, as well as for compensating Iran for injuries to the embassy personnel and the damages to the embassy building,.. Iran reserves the right to (legally) pursue this matter."As often happens, the Saudis denied that the bombing incident even happened. They claim the Iranian allegation was simply a lie and that there were no air-strikes anywhere near the Iranian embassy. Whatever the truth about this particular strike, certainly there is verification of the use of cluster bombs and residential buildings being hit. Perhaps the Iranians will provide photographic evidence. But the Saudis might just ignore this.


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