18 August 2016 — Drone Warfare
A Saudi-led coalition air strike hit a hospital operated by Medecins Sans Frontieres in northern Yemen on Monday, killing at least 11 people and wounding 19, the aid group said. And who is in the coalition?
US and Britain have deployed their military personnel in the command and control centre responsible for Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen, having access to lists of targets.
Fighter jets from Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab mirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain also took part in the operation. Djibouti and Somalia made its airspace, territorial waters and military bases available to the coalition. The United States provided intelligence and logistical support, including search-and-rescue for downed coalition pilots. It also accelerated the sale of weapons to coalition states.
Pakistan is to be congratulated: it was called on by Saudi Arabia to join the coalition, but its parliament voted to maintain neutrality.
A Reuters witness at the scene of the attack in the Abs district of Hajja province said medics could not immediately evacuate the wounded because war planes continued to fly over the area and emergency workers feared more bombings.
The 3rd airstrike
“This is the fourth attack against an MSF facility in less than 12 months. The location of the hospital was well known, and the hospital’s GPS coordinates were repeatedly shared with all parties to the conflict, including the Saudi-led coalition,” Doctors Without Borders said in a statement. Even with the recent United Nations resolution calling for an end to attacks on medical facilities and high-level declarations of commitment to international humanitarian law, nothing seems to be done to make parties involved in the conflict in Yemen to respect medical staff and patients.”
“This is the fourth attack against an MSF facility in less than 12 months,” said Teresa Sancristóval, MSF emergency program manager for Yemen (More here). “People in Yemen continue to be killed and injured while seeking medical care. The violence in Yemen is having a disproportionate burden on civilians. We want to express our outrage at having to send condolences once more to the families of our staff member and 10 patients, who should have been safe inside a hospital.”
In the foreword to Medea Benjamin’s book, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, Barbara Ehrenreich writes: