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Saudi attack on Sana'a funeral, war crime: Human rights lawyer

Yemeni rescue workers carry a victim on a stretcher amid the rubble of a destroyed building following airstrikes by Saudi warplanes on the capital Sana'a on October 8, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

A Saudi airstrike early in October on a funeral in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, where more than 140 people were killed and over 525 wounded, has been “clearly a war crime,” a prominent human rights lawyer tells Press TV. 

“The attack itself in my views was a war crime because it was largely an attack method involved mass deaths of civilians,” Edward Corrigan, an international human rights lawyer, said in an interview with Press TV.

He went on to say that Saudi Arabia violated international humanitarian law by attacking civilians, the wounded, and medical personnel using a vicious "double-tap attack tactic."

The first bomb on October 8 hit the hall, which was packed with hundreds of adults and children mourning the father of the acting interior minister. The second bomb was dropped three to eight minutes later when medical personnel were trying to help casualties from the first attack.

The human rights attorney also stressed that Saudis and their American backers are deliberately using the double bombing tactic in Yemen and elsewhere in order to terrorize civilians, adding, “The CIA has been using the double tactic in Yemen and other countries in order to terrorize people and prevent people from going in and looking for survivors. But this clearly is a war crime.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, the expert stated that unconditional support by the US and some other countries has helped Saudi Arabia escape justice and accountability for war crimes.

He also strongly denounced mass arms sales to Saudi Arabia by Washington and its Western allies.

“The accountability is vital that unfortunately is not being enforced in this instance. The trouble is that the United States, Britain, Germany and France have sold mass amounts of arms to Saudi Arabia and its [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council allies.” 

According to the Control Arms Coalition, a group that is campaigning against arms sales, Britain, France and the US are violating the 2014 Arms Trade Treaty by exporting conventional weapons to a country engaged in war crimes.

The analyst suggested that judicial proceedings at the International Criminal Court should be commenced in order to condemn Saudi war crimes.

Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a deadly campaign against Yemen since March 2015. Riyadh’s aggression, which has killed more than 10,000 in Yemen, was launched in an attempt to restore power to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, who has resigned as Yemen’s president but seeks to force his way back into power. The campaign also seeks to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

Saudi-led bombardments have struck hospitals, markets and other places where civilians gather. 

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