Riyadh | The Saudi-led coalition bombing rebels in Yemen denied today renewed accusations of dropping cluster bombs in the country after UN chief Ban Ki-moon said their use may be a war crime. The coalition denies using cluster bombs in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri told AFP. He was specifically responding to a report issued Thursday by the US-based Human Rights Watch, which quoted residents describing a January 6 attack consistent with airdropped cluster bomb use. A day later Ban said he had received troubling reports of cluster bomb attacks in the rebel-held capital Sanaa. I think it’s a very weak report, Assiri said of HRW’s study.
They didn’t show any evidence. He said the watchdog mentioned a type of cluster munition that doesn’t exist in our stock, adding that 90 percent of coalition operations in Sanaa are directed against Scud missile launchers. You cannot use a cluster bomb against Scud launchers, Assiri said. There has been widespread international concern about the high numbers of civilian casualties in Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition has been supporting Yemeni forces since March against the rebels and their allies, who seized territory from the internationally-recognised government.
Subscribe to our email newsletter.