CONGRESSMAN LIEU SEEKS CLARITY FROM SEC. CARTER, SEC. KERRY ON U.S. ROLE IN YEMEN CONFLICT

November 3, 2016
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON - Yesterday, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) sent a letter to Secretaries Ash Carter and John Kerry seeking clarity regarding a recent statement made by a senior U.S. Administration official about U.S. support of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen. The official stated that U.S. support of the Coalition does not include “target selection and review.”

In the letter, Mr. Lieu writes:

“I find it deeply troubling that the U.S. apparently has no advanced knowledge of what targets will be struck by jets that are refueled by U.S. personnel with U.S. tankers. Reports last month revealed that State Department lawyers were concerned about potential violations of the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) by the Coalition, but the Administration nevertheless chose to proceed to aid and abet the Coalition.”

“As has been widely reported, the U.S. is engaged in military operations with the Coalition, such as refueling Coalition fighter jets that directly result in the use of force on targets in Yemen. The U.S. would appear to be violating LOAC and international standards by engaging in such direct military operations if U.S. personnel are not aware if targets are civilian or military, if the loss of life and property are disproportional, or if the operation is even militarily necessary.”

“U.S. personnel are now at legal risk of being investigated and potentially prosecuted for committing war crimes. Under international law, a person can be found guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes.”

THE FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER CAN BE FOUND HERE.

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