Errant Civilian Airstrikes Turn Yemenis Against The U.S.

Half the people killed in Yemen's conflict have been civilians, Amnesty International reports.

The Obama administration's assistance in a Saudi-led military coalition is turning Yemeni people against the U.S. as more of the Saudi airstrikes aimed at the Houthis, Yemen's rebel militia group, fall errantly on civilians, The New York Times reported. 

People living in areas controlled by the Houthis, which forced Yemen's elected government from power earlier this year, have increasingly become victims of Saudi airstrikes falling off-target on apartment buildings, refugee camps and in one instance, a water bottling plant miles from any other buildings.

“It never occurred to me that this would be hit,” Ibrahim al-Razoom, the plant's owner, told the Times. The attack killed 13 employees.

Roughly half of the 4,000 people killed in the conflict have been civilians, Amnesty International found, and more than 1 million people have been displaced since March. 

Instead of turning the Yemeni people against the Houthis, the Times reported, those errant airstrikes are building up civilian resentment toward the Saudis and the other governments backing them. That includes the U.S., which has been key in providing Saudi Arabia with intelligence and logistical support, according to Amnesty International.

Evidence of the United States' involvement has turned up in recent investigations of airstrike sites. In July, Human Rights Watch visited four attack sites in Yemen farming fields and found that all weapons used were U.S.-made. One of the unexploded bombs used in a fatal airstrike on a mosque in July was also U.S.-manufactured, Amnesty International reported. 

There are some sentiments in the region that the Obama administration is "selling this weaponry so that we can provide some jobs for your kids in the United States and provide some economy improvement," Jalal Fairooz, a former member of parliament in Bahrain, told Press TV.

Meanwhile, Yemeni people continue to suffer water shortages and malaria outbreaks in addition to the threat of falling victim to a Saudi airstrike. The United Nations warns that 1.6 million Yemeni children are experiencing acute malnutrition, while other aid groups say thousands more may die if they're not provided more fuel, food and medicine soon.

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