As most of our readers know, the US has been providing fuel for the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes in Yemen since 2015--airstrikes that, according to the UN, are responsible for thousands of civilian casualties. Back in March, Senator Elizabeth Warren explicitly asked General Votel of US Central Command (CENTCOM), in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, whether CENTCOM tracks the missions that it refuels in Yemen, and whether CENTCOM can assess whether US fuel or US-made munitions are used in air raids targeting civilians. General Votel responded that CENTCOM does not, and that he does not believe they are, respectively.
A recent report from The Intercept, however, covered a leaked “US intelligence report” assessing a May 14 coalition strike. The strike used a US-made precision-guided munition and narrowly missed killing a dozen civilians in Yemen. The intelligence report included a “minute-by-minute account” of the airstrike and comments from an American intelligence analyst stating that the strike “fail[ed] to follow proper procedure even though safeguards are in place,” suggesting that the United States can and does track coalition raids that use US munitions.
That means that General Votel was either lying to Congress in his testimony, or he is inexcusably ignorant about the capacity of the US government to monitor coalition missions in Yemen. A recent, horrific coalition strike on a school bus raises further questions about US complicity in civilian casualties in Yemen. Thankfully, Senator Warren is holding the administration to account for its involvement in the war and has sent a letter to General Votel demanding unclassified responses to a series of clarifying questions. We need to let General Votel and the administration know that other senators and representatives won’t stand for further misrepresentations and are ready to pursue the truth behind US involvement.
Tell your senators and representatives to publicly endorse Senator Elizabeth Warren’s letter and demand that CENTCOM and the administration start telling the whole truth about US involvement in Yemen’s civil war!
You can take action in a few easy steps:
Call the congressional switchboard (202) 224-3121.
Ask to be connected with your representative (not sure who that is? Enter your zip code here).
When you’re connected with your representative’s office, say: "
My name is [your name] and I live in [your town]. I would like Congressman/Congresswoman __________ to support Senator Warren in her pursuit of the full truth behind US involvement in the war in Yemen, as outlined in her letter to General Votel on ___. American munitions and refueling should not be used for attacks on civilians and crucial necessary infrastructure in the country.
Call the switchboard again and ask for one of your senators.
Thank you for helping us hold the administration accountable for its role in this disastrous war!