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West complicit in Saudi crimes in Yemen: Analyst

Yemeni children stand amidst the rubble of a house in Yemen's capital Sana’a on August 11, 2016, after it was hit by a Saudi air strike. (AFP photo)

Press TV has conducted an interview with Catherine Shakdam, director of Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies, and Frederick Peterson, US Congressional Defense Policy Advisor, to discuss Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen.

Shakdam believes that the West - namely the United States and Britain - is complicit in Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen given the amount of weapons which have been sold to the kingdom.

She also mentions that the real problem with the Saudi aggression is “war capitalism”, adding there is more money to be made by "selling out the blood of poor people than there is in peace."

Shakdam is of the opinion that the West is responsible for the systematic killing of civilians in Yemen, rejecting the Western states' claims they they were not aware of Saudi crimes as "a blatant lie.” 

“When you are selling cluster bombs to the Saudis, do you seriously expect that they would not use it when you know perfectly well they are actually at war with not just one country but several across the region. So to turn around and say we did not know and we are not responsible is actually criminal at this stage,” she says.

Shakdam further warns that Saudi Arabia is seeking to obliterate the resistance movement in Yemen in order to build its “grand Wahhabi Empire” there. She goes on to say that the Yemenis are fighting a great resistance because they have a right to “political self-determination”.

Shakdam also argues that the United Nations is “incapable” of doing anything about the Saudi crimes in Yemen.  

“If the UN officials were to come out and say those are crimes against humanity, there is nothing they can do technically to even call for an inquiry. Because the Saudis would block it or they would declare some kind of financial warfare against Western powers or the UN altogether,” she says.  

Peterson, for his part, believes that there is an excess of “callousness” and “carelessness” on the part of the Saudis in executing their offensives in Yemen.

“There has been some recklessness on the part of the Saudis in the way that they have conducted their policy and some of the casualties have been the result of carelessness on their part and not precision targeting,” he says.

He argues that  the consequences of the civilian casualties are coming back to harm the interests of the Saudis.  

Both sides are responsible for the “terrorism and asymmetrical warfare” being employed in this battle, Peterson says.  


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