It seems highly likely that the Saudi-led coalition used a US-made bomb in its deadly airstrike on a bus carrying Yemeni schoolchildren last week according to a local journalist
Photos by journalist Nasser Arrabyee show pieces of a Raytheon Mark 82 general-purpose free-fall bomb which were apparently recovered from the scene
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Arrabyee tweeted the photos on Saturday, two days after Saudi-led planes targeted the school bus in Sa’ada Province, killing at least 51 civilians, mostly children, and injuring almost 80 others.
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The images have emerged amid growing international criticism of Washington’s lucrative arms sales to the Saudi Arabia and its allies.
However, despite the arms sale trail between Washington and Riyadh, the Pentagon claimed that it might be impossible to tell where the bomb that annihilated the school bus came from.
RT reports:Harrowing images from the site, shared by journalist Nasser Arrabyee, show fragments that appear to be from the 500-pound MK-82 bomb, which the US continues to sell to Saudi Arabia.
The remnants of the US bombs that killed Yemen children in the latest US-Saudi massare and war crime of August 9th, 2018
In Saada north Yemen. pic.twitter.com/z8bvadwncG
— Nasser Arrabyee (@narrabyee) August 11, 2018
While the photo of the fragments has yet to be independently verified, pieces of MK-82 bombs have surfaced repeatedly amid the ongoing Yemen bombing campaign. The MK-82 made shocking headlines in 2016 when the Saudi-led coalition bombed a community hall in Sanaa during a funeral for Sheikh Ali al-Rawishan, killing more than 140 people and wounding 525 others.
Arms sales to Saudi Arabia have repeatedly been condemned by human rights organizations, who view them as one of the main contributing factors to the skyrocketing death toll in the war-torn country. More than 10,000 people have been killed in three years of war, according to United Nations estimates, while the Saudi Arabian blockade continues to contribute to starvation and disease in the country.
Despite repeated calls by NGOs and even US lawmakers to halt arms supplies to the Saudis amid the ongoing conflict, in 2016 and 2017, the Pentagon went on to award Lockheed Martin/General Dynamics key contracts to supply the MK-82 500-pound bombs to the Arab coalition.
Yemeni journalists found this fragment of the bomb Saudi Arabia dropped on a school bus full of children in Yemen https://t.co/ooLcwBpMwZ
It’s a US-made MK-82 guided bomb, which has been used in previous attacks on Yemeni civilians
The cage code on the bomb is Lockheed Martin’s pic.twitter.com/Wu6OSZeKJ2
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) August 11, 2018
Yet, despite the apparent arms sale trail between Washington and Riyadh, the Pentagon advised earlier this week that it might be impossible to tell where the bomb that annihilated the school bus came from. In 2016, the US approved MK-82 sales to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, France, and Iraq, while extending the deal to Australia and Bahrain the following year.
“We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the US sold to them,” Army Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesperson for US Central Command, told Vox. “We don’t have a lot of people on the ground.”