WASHINGTON DC—The United States, which is providing intelligence and logistical support to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, should condition its support on adherence to international humanitarian law (IHL) and adoption of policies to minimize civilian harm by its allies, the Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) said today.

“President Obama should express concern about the increasing civilian harm in Yemen, when he meets Friday with King Salman, and condition US support on respect of international humanitarian law and reversal of current practices,” said Federico Borello, executive director of CIVIC. “The US has developed policies and tactics for preventing civilian harm from its own combat operations. These should be shared as a key element of any ongoing support to the coalition.”

The increasing civilian death toll in Yemen and widespread damage to civilian homes and infrastructure raise serious concerns about adherence to IHL and lack of civilian protection measures adopted by the Saudi-led coalition, as well as by the Houthis and the anti-Houthi groups.

The United States military has developed advanced capabilities to minimize civilian harm during combat operations, capabilities that should be shared as an essential piece of any package of support to the coalition.

See Recommendations on Civilian Protection Measures in Yemen that should be adopted by the Saudi-coalition.

Editors' Note

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.

For more information, contact Christopher Allbritton at +1 (917) 310-4785 or chris@civiliansinconflict.org.