News ID: 113042
Publish Date : 04 March 2023 - 21:42

Yemenis Sue UAE, Saudi Leaders, U.S. Military Contractors for War Crimes

SANA’A (Middle East Eye) – A group of Yemeni nationals has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against military contractors Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics, accusing them of “aiding and abetting war crimes and extrajudicial killings” by supplying arms to the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen.
The lawsuit, filed in the district court of Washington DC, also names the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed, respectively, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin.
Middle East Eye reached out to the Pentagon, the State Department, the embassies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the three defence contractors for comment on this lawsuit.
The State Department, Pentagon, and Lockheed Martin told MEE that they do not comment on pending litigation.
“Year after year, the bombs fell - on wedding tents, funeral halls, fishing boats and a school bus - killing thousands of civilians and helping turn Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” reads the lawsuit, seen by MEE.
“Weapons supplied by U.S. companies through sales unlawfully approved by U.S. officials, allowed Saudi Arabia and the UAE through the named defendant officials to pursue an indiscriminate and brutal bombing campaign.”
The plaintiffs are seven Yemeni individuals who say they represent the victims of two separate bombings in the country - one for a wedding in 2015 and another for a funeral in 2016.
In October 2015, the al-Sanabani family was readying to celebrate a relative’s wedding when a warplane bombed the area, killing 43 people including 13 women and 16 children, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The Yemeni plaintiffs are filing the lawsuit under the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), a 1991 U.S. law that allows victims of torture to sue for compensation from their tormenters if the accused are in the US.
The lawsuit names the Saudi and Emirati crown princes under the Alien Tort Statute, a law that grants federal courts jurisdiction over violations of international law.
Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the U.S. and other Western states, launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015.
The objective was to crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen, and reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
The Saudi-led coalition has failed to achieve any of its objectives. Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have been killed. Yemen is witnessing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis now.