Since January 2017, there has been a dramatic increase in US operations in Yemen, including 2 ground raids. Reprieve’s investigations have revealed that these raids have both led to large numbers of civilian causalities.
In January 2017 President Trump order a raid in Yemen, which led to the deaths of a US Navy SEAL and 23 civilians, including 10 children aged 12 and under. The raid was reckless, violated international law, and led to an appalling loss of life.
The raid was a disaster from the start. It was approved by President Trump casually over dinner, and despite concerns about the quality of the intelligence behind it. While President Trump continues to call the raid a “win”, senior officials in his administration have said the raid produced “no significant intelligence” and that “almost everything went wrong” on the night in question.
Reprieve’s research revealed the devastating human cost of the operation. We have discovered that 23 civilians were killed in this raid, including 10 children aged 12 years and under, an 80 year old man, and several women.
The Trump Administration recently conducted a secret internal review of the operation, which ignored eyewitness accounts, labelled innocent children as combatants, and underestimated the number of civilian casualties. The review concluded that there were no lapses in judgement surrounding the operation. This is simply not good enough, and in response, Reprieve US is calling for an independent public investigation to fully investigate these civilian deaths.
Demand an independent investigation now
In May 2017, a second raid in Yemen was carried out by US forces. Reprieve’s investigation revealed that five civilians were killed during this operation, and six were seriously injured. One of these killed was Nasser al-Adhal, who was around 70 years old and partially blind. Witnesses report that he was shot when he tried to greet the US soldiers, mistaking them for guests.