US bomb fragment found in rubble of Yemen airstrike – reports
A missile fragment discovered in the debris after Friday’s devastating airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on the Yemeni city of Saada has been identified as having come from a bomb produced by a US weapons manufacturer.
The January 21 attack on a migrant detention facility in a Houthi rebel stronghold claimed several dozen lives, including those of a number of children, and prompted UN General Secretary António Guterres to call for an “effective and transparent investigation.”
Video footage filmed in the aftermath of the airstrike by members of the Houthi rebel movement, which is in conflict with the Saudi-backed government, and shared on YouTube, shows distressing scenes of rescue workers removing bodies from the rubble. At one point, a fragment allegedly from a lethal weapon used in the raid is shown, with part of its identifying text and numbers visible.
“That’s the manufacturer cage code for Raytheon,” Marc Garlasco, a military adviser from the Netherlands-based PAX Protection of Civilians NGO wrote on Twitter, referring to the US’ Raytheon Technologies Corporation, one of the world’s largest aerospace and intelligence services suppliers.
Raytheon describes itself on its website as being focused on “creating breakthrough technologies in fields such as artificial intelligence, advanced propulsion, electrification, and thermal management.” Its list of cage codes includes the number 96214, which matches that seen on the fragment found in Saada.
A CNN investigation also listed the same Raytheon cage code found on shrapnel after coalition airstrikes in Yemen in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
This is not the first time that bomb fragments from American-made weapons have been discovered among the rubble in Yemen. The US has continued to supply weapons and logistical and intelligence support to Saudi Arabia, despite numerous calls from human rights organizations to cease its exports.
In August 2018, a Yemeni journalist identified missile fragments found after an attack on a bus carrying children as having derived from a Raytheon Mark 82 general-purpose free-fall bomb.
The Saudi-led coalition has recently intensified airstrikes in Yemen in response to Houthi drone attacks in the United Arab Emirates, an ally of Saudi Arabia in the conflict.