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US and UK Intensify Bombing Campaign on Yemen

How Long Will the Illegal Bombing Campaign Continue?

US and UK Intensify Bombing Campaign on Yemen

The United States and the United Kingdom have jointly conducted a significant military operation against targets in Yemen, as confirmed by the US Central Command on Saturday. This operation saw a combination of air and sea attacks targeting a total of 36 sites across 13 locations within Yemen.

Utilizing Tomahawk missiles from US Navy vessels and F/A-18 fighter bombers taking off from the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier, the operation was extensive. The targets included a variety of strategic points such as underground storage areas, command centers, missile systems, UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) facilities, radar installations, and helicopters. The Central Command has articulated that the objective of these strikes is to significantly weaken the Houthi rebels’ ability to launch further aggressive and unauthorized actions against US and UK maritime interests and international commercial shipping routes.

“This operation is a direct response to the Houthi’s continued and indiscriminate targeting of maritime assets belonging to the US, the UK, and other international stakeholders,” CENTCOM stated, highlighting the defensive nature of the strikes.

In a separate initiative earlier the same day, the US targeted six additional sites in Yemen. These strikes aimed to neutralize Houthi cruise missiles poised for launch towards vessels in the Red Sea, further emphasizing the defensive stance of the US military actions.

In contrast, Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a senior political figure and spokesman for the Houthis, conveyed a staunch resistance to these military interventions.

“We will respond to escalation with further escalation. Our actions against the Zionist regime will persist until the hostilities against Gaza cease, regardless of the sacrifices,” al-Bukhaiti declared on the social media platform X.

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The Houthis have escalated their maritime attacks, aligning with Palestinians since the onset of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in October of the previous year. Initially focusing on Israeli-linked ships, their aggression expanded to include vessels owned by the US and the UK following the coalition’s operations in Yemen.

This recent surge in military activity follows closely on the heels of airstrikes conducted by the US in Iraq and Syria, which Washington claims were aimed at the Islamic Resistance movement and other groups receiving support from Iran. These were in retaliation for a drone attack that resulted in the deaths of three US soldiers in Jordan.

Critics argue that these bombing campaigns stand in violation of international law, raising questions about the legality and moral implications of such military actions.

Why are these strikes illegal?

The characterization of the bombing campaign as “illegal” stems from concerns regarding its compliance with international law. International law, particularly the United Nations Charter, stipulates conditions under which military action against another state can be legally justified. Typically, such actions are deemed lawful if they are carried out in self-defense against an armed attack or with the authorization of the UN Security Council.

The bombing campaigns in Yemen, as described, have raised legal questions for several reasons:

  1. Lack of UN Security Council Authorization: Military actions that do not have explicit approval from the UN Security Council can be viewed as a violation of international law, unless they are conducted in immediate self-defense. Without such authorization, the US and UK’s strikes on Yemen might be seen as lacking a legal basis under international law.
  2. Proportionality and Discrimination: International humanitarian law requires that all military actions must be both proportional and discriminate between military targets and civilians. Any action that causes excessive civilian harm relative to the anticipated military advantage can be considered illegal. If the strikes in Yemen are found to disproportionately harm civilians or fail to adequately distinguish between civilian and military targets, they could be deemed illegal.
  3. National Sovereignty: The principle of sovereignty is a cornerstone of international law, which prohibits states from using force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state without justification. The bombing campaign against Yemen, particularly if it involves strikes on non-military targets or if it is seen as an intervention in a civil conflict, could be interpreted as a violation of Yemen’s sovereignty.
  4. Precedent and Interpretation: The interpretation of what constitutes self-defense and the legality of preemptive strikes remain contentious. Actions taken without clear evidence of an imminent threat or without exhausting peaceful means of resolution can be challenged as illegal under international law.

The assertion of illegality without a detailed examination of these factors and without a definitive ruling from a competent international body such as the International Court of Justice or the UN Security Council remains a matter of debate. However, critics of the bombing campaign point to these principles of international law to question its legality.

What do you think?

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Written by CapeGuy

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