Saudi Forces Killed 40 Schoolchildren In Yemen With US-Made Bomb

At least 29 children were killed and more than 30 were injured after U.S.-backed Saudi forces launched an airstrike in Yemen, hitting a school bus filled with kids on a field trip.


UPDATE: A Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen backed by Western powers killed 51 people in an airstrike targeting a school bus in the Saada province in northern Yemen.

At least 40 of the victims were innocent children.

As the death toll is updated to reflect the cold reality of this brutal war, it is reported from the ground that the bomb used in the horrific attack was American-made, adding an even darker shade of shame to this bloody war for control over the Yemeni canals that has helped to spread famine and misery across the impoverished country.

Having injured 79 people, 56 of whom were children, the U.S.-made MK-82 guided bomb was produced by Lockheed Martin, a U.S. contractor. And according to journalist Ben Norton, the same bomb was also used in other Saudi attacks against Yemeni civilians.  

The 500-pound MK-82 is touted as “causing the least amount of collateral damage” by the U.S. Air Force, and U.S. contractors have long sold these bombs to Saudi Arabia as part of contracts worth tens of millions of dollars. But as pointed out by the AFP, Western governments are also supplying the Saudis with warplanes and other weapons, helping to further highlight their complicity in this debacle.

After this attack prompted news outlets to condemn the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen for targeting innocent children, the coalition promised an internal inquiry. One of Saudi Arabia’s main allies in this war, the United Arab Emirates, said that the child deaths show the “ugly” side of war.

"Unfortunately, this is really part of any confrontation," the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said.

But the reality is that this war was never a just war to begin with.

Yemen hasn’t attacked Saudi Arabia or its allies, or threatened its survival. What Saudi Arabia has clearly demonstrated from the get-go is a willingness to go above and beyond to destroy any faction even remotely associated with Iran in the region. And that’s because the country that has the power over the oil shipments along the Strait of Hormuz can control 20 percent of the world's petroleum.

The fact the Houthi rebels, who have been fighting for control of the Yemeni government, reportedly align with Iran appears to be enough to instigate Saudi Arabia into decimating an entire country in the name of oil.

The young lives taken in this violent and senseless Saudi-led attack are worthless to those who see no reason to fight other than greed. And even if there was a massive international campaign against the Saudi kingdom over Yemen, their status as a U.S. and U.K. ally would make this campaign virtually toothless, as both Western countries have done nothing but enable and help the Saudi regime.

Children may have nothing to do with the war and conflict raging all around them, but they are unfortunately the biggest victim of violence they had no role in perpetrating.

At least 29 innocent children lost their lives in northern Yemen after an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a school bus while it was passing through a market area. Nearly 30 children, all under the age of 15, were also wounded in the attack.

According to the country’s Houthi-controlled Health Ministry, a total of 50 civilians were killed in the airstrike while 77 were injured.

For the young victims of war, it was supposed to be a field trip day, a temporary reprieve from the brutality being carried out in the Middle Eastern country by Saudi-UAE military alliance, backed by none other than the United States and the United Kingdom – two of the biggest human rights supporters, supposedly.

However, it turned into a nightmare.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), one of the only international non-profit organizations working in the war-torn region, said the vehicle carrying the schoolchildren came under attack after the driver stopped it near a crowded market in the rebel-controlled province of Saada.

Some reports suggested the driver had stopped to get a bottle of water.

“The place is known to be a market, [and] there is no military installation nearby ... but the Saudis are known to have done this many times - target schools, weddings and so on,” Nasser Arrabyee, a Yemeni journalist, told Al Jazeera.

He claimed there were no rebel Houthi fighters where the attack took place.

“It's difficult to treat such a big number of injured in Sanaa, let alone in Saada, which is very remote and primitive,” he added. “This makes the situation worse, with many of the wounded likely to die because there is no treatment, no medicine.”


What’s even worse is that the ammunition used in the airstrike could have very well come from the military aid U.S. has given to Saudi Arabia.

“We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the US sold to them,” Army Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesperson for U.S. Central Command, told Vox. “We don’t have a lot of people on the ground.” The military could conduct an investigation to find out if that’s the case, but it’s unclear if that probe would ever happen or how long it would take.”

It is also important to mention the attack came at a time when Saudi Arabia, which is leading the initiative in Yemen, is in the middle of full-on diplomatic feud with Canada after the country called it out on its human rights abuses.

The images from the aftermath of the recent attack in Yemen paint an extremely grotesque picture of the atrocities being committed in the country – showing scattered body part, bloodied children and lots of dead bodies.

Social media users, including politicians, celebrities and activists, took to Twitter to condemn the horrific attack but also slam their respective governments for providing weapons of war to the Saudi-UAE coalition.


Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Naif Rahma

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