In its involvement in the Middle East, the United States military has been responsible for the deaths of many civilians. Likewise, coalitions that it has led, funded, or aided have caused the collateral deaths of many children and other defenseless citizens in hospitals in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and other countries in the region. But now, a recent Amnesty report suggests the United States reported just over one-tenth of the civilian casualties in Raqqa, Syria.
This Tuesday, a horrifying but unsurprising announcement came from Yemen. Once again, a Saudi drone strike missed its target, this time blowing up part of a hospital. The blast killed seven people, of whom four were children. Among the dead are a health worker and the worker’s two kids.
In related news, the United States continued to help the Saudis with air force training. We’re supplying them with arms, training, and in some cases, ground troops that fought on the side of Al Qaeda. With the terrorist group’s own fighters joining a Saudi coalition and fighting alongside the United States, it’s clear that we are indeed on the same side as the terrorists in this particular battle. Moreover, an ever-increasing amount of information is proving that we fund the Saudis militarily and sell them weapons, but they don’t always actually pay us what they owe, leaving burdens on Americans. Moreover, the Department of Defense has failed to collect payments for plane fuel, placing even more wartime expenses on taxpayers. They continue to strike targets that we advise against, but we continue to aid and train them. In fact, I pay them personally.
This Thursday, a US-backed, Saudi-led airstrike has killed at least 29 Yemeni children on a school bus. The bomb smashed into the bus in a marketplace in northern Yemen. The children aboard were reportedly heading to their daily summer camp.
Mass Bombing in Yemen
So far, there have been at least 50 casualties. The Red Cross in Yemen tweeted Thursday about the status of victims they are treating.
New figures from the ICRC-supported hospital in Sa'ada, #Yemen. Our medical team has received:
– the bodies of 29 children, all under 15 years old.
– 48 injured people, among them 30 children.
— ICRC (@ICRC) August 9, 2018
The United States has aided the Saudis with fuel, weapons and mid-air support in the strikes against Yemen. They also have supported Saudi Arabia militarily in their blockade of Yemen.
The coalition claimed that the strikes, despite slaughtering dozens of children, were done in accordance with international law. However, international law strictly prohibits the killing of not only children, but any civilians.
Moreover, the group claimed that Houthis, an Islamic group in Yemen, were using children as human shields.
Most of the victims from the bombing were ten years of age or less, according to Johannes Bruwer, The ICRC Yemen’s head of delegation.
— Johannes Bruwer (@JohannesBruwer1) August 9, 2018
The air strikes appear to be a part of a larger war between the Houthi group and the Yemeni government. The former seized control from the latter in parts of the country three years ago. Since then, the United States and United Kingdom have allied with the Saudis and the Yemeni government against the Houthis.
Behind the Scenes Support for War
Back in the United States, some politicians are voicing their disapproval for the cold-blooded attack. Senator Chris Murphy tweeted Thursday:
U.S. bombs. U.S. targeting. U.S. mid air support.
And we just bombed a SCHOOL BUS.
The Saudi/UAE/U.S. bombing campaign is getting more reckless, killing more civilians, and strengthening terrorists inside Yemen. We need to end this – NOW. https://t.co/P8V2L6Crgi
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 9, 2018
But despite this, Murphy shows a desire to increase military spending. On his official website, Murphy voices his opinion that “a strong military is the foundation of U.S. national security”. He also supports tens of billions of new dollars in funding for F-35s and other war planes. Thus, it appears that the tragedies will only continue, for even the American voices supporting an end are quietly and continually funding the endless stream of bombs and bloodshed.
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By Vaughn Hoisington | UNITED STATES
Donald Trump has become the new “Drone King.”
Since President Trump has been in office, more U.S. led air strikes have been performed than ever before. Afghanistan received twice as many air strikes in 2017, as it did the previous year, and Yemen was struck more in 2017 than the entirety of the four previous years.
The increased amount of strikes is an outcome of Trump relaxing Obama-era drone strike restrictions, and U.S. military commanders being granted complete authorization to make complex decisions pertaining to military operations.
Drone Strikes are nowhere near perfect, due to civilian casualties. It has been reported that the number of civilian casualties is only getting worse, with a 50% increase in civilian casualties occurring in Afghanistan as a result of strikes.
During the 29 months that Obama was leading the United States Military in the war against ISIS, the nonprofit aerial warfare monitoring organization, Airwars, estimated that there were anywhere between 2298-3398 civilian deaths as a result of U.S. led coalition air strikes in Iraq and Syria.
Under Trump’s leadership, that record was broken within a year. The minimum number of civilian casualties from Iraq and Syria rose to 3,749, as of January 30.
For comparison, Iraq Body Count has determined that the number of civilians killed by ISIS in Iraq alone from the beginning of 2014 to February of 2017 was about 26,667.
Image from Newsweek.