(AA) — An international pressure group on Monday urged Saudi Arabia and the U.S. to take necessary steps to curb civilian harm during military operations in Yemen.
“The coalition and the U.S. should investigate alleged laws-of-war violations by coalition forces and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to populations at risk,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies have pounded Houthi positions across Yemen beginning late last month. Washington is providing arms and intelligence support to the coalition.
The air campaign has killed at least 300 civilians and displaced more than 120,000 according to the United Nations.
“The alarming civilian deaths and humanitarian crisis in Yemen should spur the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis to get serious about protecting civilians,” said Philippe Bolopion, who directs the UN and crisis advocacy division at Human Rights Watch.
“The U.S. should use its influence with the coalition to ensure full compliance with the laws of war,” he said.
Riyadh says its anti-Houthi campaign is a response to appeals by embattled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to “save the [Yemeni] people from the Houthi militias.”
The Houthis, for their part, denounce the offensive as an unwarranted “Saudi-American onslaught” on Yemen.