Saudi Arabia Kills Yemeni Civilians with Another US-Made Raytheon Bomb

Saudi Arabia attacked Yemenis in Hodeidah with a laser-guided bomb made by US military contractor Raytheon, as a civilian is killed every three hours on average.

By Ben Norton

A bomb used by Saudi Arabia to attack civilians in Yemen has been identified as a US-made laser-guided bomb manufactured by military contractor Raytheon.

The deaths — the latest in a long pattern of Saudi bombings of Yemeni civilians with US-made weapons — came amid reports that fighting kills one Yemeni civilian every three hours, on average, in the US-backed Saudi and Emirati war on their country.

On October 24, US-supported Saudi forces launched a series of airstrikes on the major Yemeni port city of Hodeidah.

One of these airstrikes struck several cars in the city, reportedly killing three civilians, including a child.

Local journalist Hussain Albukhaiti published a photo of a bomb fragment recovered at the scene of the airstrike:

The bomb fragment has text written in English, which indicates that it was manufactured in the United States. The CAGE code on the fragment, 96214, clearly identifies it as a part made by Raytheon.

Analysts on social media traced the serial code on the fragment, and found it to be part of the wing assembly from a GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb.

The text says it was made “for use on MK82” — a reference to the unguided Mark 82 bomb designed by US military contractor General Dynamics. The GBU-12, which is manufactured by both Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, is based on the Mk 82, but is guided and has additional parts.

yemen hodeidah us raytheon bomb
A fragment from a US-made Raytheon GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb, used by Saudi Arabia in Hodeidah, Yemen (Credit: Hussain Albukhaiti)

Not the first time Saudi dropped a US guided bomb on Yemeni civilians

Despite increasing attention on US military contractors’ beefy contracts with the Saudi monarchy, Raytheon has reassured financial analysts that it will continue to make record profits. Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy insisted on a conference call, “I’m pretty confident we’ll weather this complexity.”

Raytheon’s CEO has good reason to be optimistic. This latest attack is far from the first time Saudi Arabia has used a US-made laser-guided bomb to attack Yemeni civilians.

In August, Saudi Arabia dropped another US-manufactured guided bomb on a school bus full of Yemeni children, killing 40 children and 11 adults.

Using a photo of a bomb fragment published by Hussain Albukhaiti‏, I quickly identified it as a part from a Mk 82 guided bomb built by Lockheed Martin.

Several days later, CNN published a report that was suspiciously similar to my own reporting, echoing the same findings without any attribution.

More Saudi airstrikes on civilian areas in Yemen

On the same day Saudi Arabia dropped a US-made Raytheon bomb that reportedly killed three civilians, it also attacked a vegetable market in Yemen.

On October 24, US-backed Saudi forces bombed a vegetable market in Hodeidah, killing at least 21 Yemenis, injuring 10 more.

Local journalist Fatik al-Rodaini shared photos of the massacre on social media:

Since Saudi Arabia launched its bombing campaign in Yemen in March 2015, the United States, Britain, France, and Germany have sold it billions of dollars in weapons.

The US and UK have also provided direct targeting assistance and intelligence for Saudi bombers. Moreover, the US military is regularly conducting in-air refueling for Saudi warplanes.

One Yemeni civilian killed every three hours

Unflinching US support for the Saudi monarchy has recently come under scrutiny with its killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a longtime royalist and prominent figure among the Saudi political elite. Yet regular Saudi massacres of Yemeni civilians have gotten significantly less attention than this lone assassination.

The international humanitarian organization Oxfam published a report on October 26 that found that fighting has killed an average of one Yemeni civilian every three hours since the beginning of August.

At least 575 Yemeni civilians were killed between August 1 and October 15, including 136 children, in a conservative estimate based on data collected by the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project.

Tens of thousands more Yemenis have died from preventable diseases, hunger, and malnutrition, which have been greatly exacerbated by the US-Saudi war, which has intentionally targeted Yemen’s food system.

“Oxfam is calling on the UK, US and other governments to suspend arms sales to the Saudis because of their disregard for civilian lives in the war in Yemen,” the aid group said in a statement.

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a producer and reporter for The Real News, and a contributor to the Grayzone Project and FAIR. Ben co-hosts the Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.