In the wake of Saturday attack on the Yemeni capital Sanaa that left 213 people killed and 534 other wounded, Washington has announced of an “immediate” review the US support for Riyadh.
However, the US' critique will never translate into political steps against the House of Saud, J Michael Springmann, a former US diplomat to Saudi Arabia, said that despite slamming Saudi-led coalition’s massive airstrike on funeral procession in Yemen on Saturday, Washington will never take concrete steps to punish its main ally in the Middle East.
In the last seven years, the US has sold to Saudis military equipment such as fighter jets, helicopters and naval missiles costing some $115bn, he said, referencing to Congressional Research Service. The latest sale occurred in August, when 130 Abrams tanks and 20 armoured recovery were delivered from America to the Gulf Kingdom.[caption id="attachment_21170" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, Yemen, October 9, 2016 REUTERS[/caption]
“It is not a blank check. It is very simple to turn the check in half and feed it into a shredder,” Springmann continued.
The portion of arms deals have been nailed as Saudis conducted its deadly military operation in Yemen, considered one of the poorest countries in the world. “Stop giving the Saudis this money, stop giving the Saudis diplomatic cover,” Springmann said, adding that it is important to watch Washington’s actions rather to listen to politicians’ statements. The year-and-half-long conflict in Yemen resulted in a profound humanitarian crisis and deaths of 10,000 civilians, according to UN data.
On Sunday, tens of thousands of armed demonstrators crowded outside the United Nations office in Yemen to protest the horrific targeted bombing of a funeral in the capital city of Sana'a by the Saudi-led coalition which many Houthis believe has been done with the tacit support of the UN.
The walkway outside of the United Nations office in Yemen's capital city of Sana'a was the staging ground for tens of thousands of angry, well-armed demonstrators who took to the streets to protest an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on a funeral.
The massive rally called the "Volcano of Rage" began outside the UN Office in Sana'a with demonstrators chanting "Allahu Akbar! America is the Great Satan" and also called for the killing of Saudi Arabia's royal family. The leader of Yemen's Houthi movement also took to the airways on Sunday calling for all able bodied men to carry out retaliatory attacks against the Saudi regime and laying the crux of the blame for the airstrike on the United States saying that Riyadh only strikes where Washington tells them to.
In the face of fierce international condemnation, the Saudi-led coalition denied any role in the bombing attack, a somewhat unbelievable claim given that they are the only military coalition with fighter jets in the region and vowed to carry out an internal investigation.
The United Nations in a statement said that "the Humanitarian community in Yemen is shocked and outraged by today's airstrikes which hit the community hall of Al-Sala Alkubra hosting thousands of mourners taking part in a funeral ceremony."
"The Humanitarian Coordinator reminds all parties to the conflict that under international humanitarian law, they are obligated to protect civilians and civilian infrastructures," said the statement. "This violence against civilians in Yemen must immediately stop."
Despite the call for peace, rebel leader Mohammed Ali al-Huthi told the crowd, "After this massacre we are more determined to confront the assailants. Open the fronts with the Saudi enemy immediately" creating an imminent security risk for diplomatic personnel in the country and raising the very real possibility of a severe escalation in fighting in the coming weeks and months.