Saudi Ambassador Gives Bizarre Answer to Illegal Yemen Cluster Bombing Question
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US has evaded answering a question about his country’s use of cluster munitions against Yemenis by answering, “This is like the question, ‘Will you stop beating your wife?’”
“Will you continue to use cluster weapons in Yemen?” a reporter from The Intercept asked Prince Abdullah Al-Saud, the Kingdom’s ambassador to the US, at the annual Arab-US Policymakers Conference in Washington DC last week, the Independent reported on Friday.
“This is like the question, ‘Will you stop beating your wife?’ “Saud replied, laughing. When pressed on the same point, the prince said, “You are political operators… I’m not a politician.”
Saud went on to say that the Kingdom would continue bombing Houthis in Yemen “no matter what it takes.”
“If anyone attacks human lives, and disturbs the border, in whatever region, we’re going to continue hitting them, no matter what,” he said.
“Anyone who wants to solve the Yemen problem should understand who is making all the problems.”
A Saudi-led coalition of Middle Eastern states began bombing Houthis in Yemen to restore power to the fugitive former government in March 2015.
The intervention has been heavily criticized by humanitarian groups, who say that the Kingdom has dropped illegal cluster munitions - banned under international law because of the indiscriminate damage they cause - and also that the Saudi military capabilities are not sophisticated enough to avoid targeting civilian infrastructure, causing unnecessary loss of life.
More than 10,000 people have died in Yemen’s conflict to date, the majority because of bombing on the capital Sana’a and other cities, the UN says.
Rights groups have also called on Western nations to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf nations, which they say are destined for use in 19-month aggression on Yemen.
Saud was the keynote speaker at the 25th annual Arab-US Policymakers Conference, which is funded by - among others - oil companies Chevron, ExxonMobile, and ConocoPhillips, and weapons manufacturers Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Boeing.
Former Director of the Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, David Petraeus, also spoke at the summit, attended by business figures and US military officials.