US arms dealers sued for ‘aiding and abetting’ war crimes in Yemen
The lawsuit says Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics, as well as several US and Saudi officials, hold responsibility for extrajudicial killings in Yemen
By News Desk - March 04 2023

(Photo credit: Arabian Defence)

US defense contractors Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics have been sued by a group of seven Yemeni nationals for “aiding and abetting war crimes and extrajudicial killings” by selling weapons to Gulf nations waging war in Yemen.

Saudi and Emirati leaders Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) and Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) are also named in the lawsuit, as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“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, according to Middle East Eye.

“Weapons supplied by US companies through sales unlawfully approved by US officials allowed Saudi Arabia and the UAE through the named Defendant officials to pursue an indiscriminate and brutal bombing campaign.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the victims of two separate bombings in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition — one for a wedding in 2015 and another for a funeral in 2016.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), in October 2015, the Al-Sanabani family was readying to celebrate a relative’s wedding when a coalition jet bombed the area, killing 43 Yemenis, including 13 women and 16 children.

A year later, coalition jets dropped a US-manufactured GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb on a crowded funeral, killing over 100.

The lawsuit was filed by Terrence Collingsworth of International Rights Advocates after the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) in the district court of Washington DC under the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), a 1991 law that allows victims of torture to sue for compensation from their tormenters if the accused are in the US.

The lawsuit alleges that western-manufactured bombs have killed over 25,000 civilians since the beginning of the NATO-backed war nearly eight years ago.

In December, the UN revealed that at least 11,000 children had been killed or maimed during the war.  “The true toll of this conflict is likely to be far higher,” indicated the children’s agency UNICEF about the casualties in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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