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Tag Archive: War Crimes

The Potential Legal Implications for the U.S. in the AP’s Disturbing UAE Torture Scoop


[Editor’s note: for an analysis of the policy issues raised by this news, see Luke Hartig’s post “Reported Emirati Abuse of Detainees and the Perils of U.S. Partnerships.”]

There is a lot to say about Maggie Michael and Maad al-Zikry’s deeply disturbing Associated Press story out early this morning—that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has operated (and may still be operating) a number of different secret terrorism detention centers in Yemen; and that there is evidence that dozens of individuals suspected of being al Qaeda (and/or AQAP) members were tortured and subjected to other abuses by UAE agents at those facilities.…   continue »

The UAE’s Military and Naval Reliance on Eritrea Makes the War in Yemen Even Riskier for the U.S.


The Saudi-led coalition’s near three-year conflict in Yemen appears to be converging on the Houthi-controlled city of Hodeidah. Foreign diplomats, international humanitarian NGOs, and experts have rightly voiced concerns of the humanitarian disaster that would result if an operation to recapture the city takes place.…   continue »

Protecting Civilians through Wartime Investigations: Applying the 2016 Minnesota Protocol When it Matters Most

It is highly important to have internationally recognized standards in investigating and prosecuting “potentially unlawful deaths”—an issue that is well recognized in the Foreward of the recently updated Protocol on Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (the “Minnesota Protocol”), as well as in Christof Heyns’ piece published at Just Security on Wednesday.…   continue »

Hundreds of foreigners are fighting for UAE in Yemen—How war crimes trials may deter them

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen continues to eye a takeover of the Port of Hodeida, which has been under the control of the Houthi rebels since they forced President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee Yemen back in 2014. Experts have warned about the risk of war crimes should the Saudi- and Emirates-led coalition seize the port (see Monday’s article by Ryan Goodman and Alex Moorehead).…   continue »

UAE, a Key US Partner in Yemen, Implicated in Detainee Abuse


One of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s regrettable statements during the Iraq war was his infamous response to an Army specialist asking about the lack of armor for military vehicles. Rumsfeld replied:

“You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

A similar sentiment may be floating around the Pentagon and White House this time with respect to partner forces in Yemen, who do not appear motivated or capable of handling the effort with the professionalism and respect for even the most basic humanitarian interests of the population on the ground.…   continue »

Contortions in the UK’s Arms Export Regime—and Costs of the Yemen War

Since the outset of Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen, the UK has demonstrated that it is willing to go to great lengths to maintain its arms sales to Saudi Arabia.  This includes contorting the language of the UK’s own arms export control regime, and possibly even revising the regime, to allow for the provision of arms to a state against whom the evidence of widespread breaches of international humanitarian law (IHL) is mounting.…   continue »

Important New Bipartisan Bill To Advance Accountability for International Crimes in Syria


Following on the heels of last week’s chemical weapon attack in Syria, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bob Corker (R-TN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Todd Young (R-IN) have introduced the Syria War Crimes Accountability Act of 2017, which authorizes the United States to provide technical and other forms of assistance to investigations and other credible transitional justice efforts, including a potential hybrid tribunal.  …   continue »

Shaky Legal Grounds: Syria Demands US Assault on Raqqa Must Work with Assad’s Forces


On Friday, Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations stated that a U.S.-backed assault on ISIL’s capital city of Raqqa would be illegitimate unless militarily coordinated with Assad’s government. “Any military presence on our territory without the approval of the Syrian government is an illegitimate presence,” Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Ja’afari told reporters.…   continue »