August 14, 2018

The Intercept: Elizabeth Warren Demands in Letter That U.S. Military Explain Its Role in Yemen Bombings

In the wake of a U.S.-backed bombing last week that killed dozens of children on a school bus in north Yemen, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding answers about how U.S. military advisers support and oversee the Saudi and UAE bombing campaign in Yemen.

Warren sent a letter on Tuesday to Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command and top commander for U.S. forces in the Middle East, requesting that he clarify past congressional testimony about the U.S. role in the Yemen war. Warren’s letter referenced an article by The Intercept about an airstrike in May, based on a U.S. intelligence report that recounts in detail, minute by minute, how the strike unfolded and American munitions were used.

“This report appeared to indicate that one or more U.S. representatives were present in the Saudi command center at the time the strike was approved and executed,” Warren wrote. “The reported presence of U.S. advisors in a command center responsible for actively approving and directing such airstrikes, and the reported existence of at least one U.S. intelligence assessment of an airstrike acknowledging the use of U.S.-manufactured munitions, raise questions about whether the U.S. does in fact have the capability to track the origins, purpose and results of U.S.-supported airstrikes should it choose to do so.”

Warren’s letter contains a list of detailed questions about U.S. oversight of Saudi bombings, asking about the role of U.S. advisers in the targeting process, and whether U.S. military officers are present in coalition command centers overseeing operations. The letter also asks whether the Pentagon conducts “after action assessments or … intelligence reports summarizing coalition airstrikes in Yemen, such as the one reported by The Intercept.” The letter asks the Defense Department to “provide unclassified answers … to the extent possible” and requests copies of the intelligence reports.

Read the full story on The Intercept website here.

By:  Alex Emmons
Source: The Intercept