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    US and Saudi flags flutter on a main road in the Saudi capital Riyadh (File)

    US Inciting Human Rights Violations by Selling Arms to Saudi Arabia - Watchdog

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    Saudi Arabia and the United States are expected to announce a $350 billion arms deal during US President Donald Trump's visit, one of the largest weapons sales in US history, emboldening further human rights violations in the region, a prominent human rights watchdog said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Trump is set to leave on Friday afternoon for a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Europe, ending with the G7 meeting in Sicily on May 26.

    “The United States continues to fuel serious human rights violations that have caused devastating civilian suffering in Yemen, through arms transfers to Saudi Arabia. There is damning evidence that war crimes have been committed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. The United States must immediately halt all arms transfers to members of the coalition for use in Yemen and push for an independent and effective investigation into the numerous violations documented in this forgotten war,” Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International, USA said.

    The White House said Trump would visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium, Italy and the Vatican.

    Yemen's civil war between the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in March 2015. Shortly after the outbreak of the conflict, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries launched airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request.

    The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) characterizes the situation in Yemen as "the largest humanitarian crisis in the world" with 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian or defense assistance, including 10.3 million who require immediate aid to save or sustain their lives. According to the OCHA, the 2017 Yemen Response Plan is only 14.4 percent funded.

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    Amnesty International, Margaret Huang
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