In a powerful statement at the UN, the American ambassador has asked the Assad regime and his Russian and Iranian allies: “Are you truly incapable of shame?”
Samantha Power yesterday accused “three member states of the UN [of] contributing to a noose around civilians,” referencing the use of barrel bombs and the killing of children.
“It should shame you. Instead, by all appearances, it is emboldening you,” she added.
Many have praised her words, and the following tweet from Power has received thousands of retweets including from high-profile figures such as author J. K. Rowling:
Supporters of Power’s statement have pointed to large numbers of civilians casualties since the battle for Aleppo began, including the alleged execution on sight of more than 80 civilians just yesterday:
More people have died in the siege of Aleppo (108k) than in the entire Bosnian war of 92-95 (102k). And it's not over yet.@AmbassadorPower— John Schindler (@20committee) December 13, 2016
However, others have criticized Power, accusing the United States of only defending human rights when it is politically convenient:
Samantha Power has the gall to talk about "shame" when she defends Saudi Arabia as they commit war crimes in Yemenpic.twitter.com/8RxiUZ8iaN— Carlton Banksy (@rtyson82) December 14, 2016
America has agreed $115 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia under President Obama, despite compelling evidence that the Gulf state has used these weapons to target Yemeni civilians. At least 7,000 Yemenis have died since the start of the campaign of the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels in the country, according to the World Health Organization.
As one twitter commentator put it:
There is, however, some indication that these angry voices are being heard. Overnight, the US has announced the suspension of some arms sales to Saudi Arabia over civilians casualties in Yemen.
“We’ve decided not to move forward with some foreign military sales cases for air-dropped munitions, PGMs (precision-guided munitions),” a US official said.
“That’s obviously a direct reflection of the concerns that we have about Saudi strikes that have resulted in civilian casualties.”
Nonetheless, many continue to await the issuing of a similar US statement of condemnation towards close American ally Saudi Arabia, as seven million children starve in war-torn Yemen.
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