US Military May Have Trained Troops Who Killed Migrants

( — The US Army may have helped train the Saudi forces that are likely responsible for killing hundreds of migrants attempting to cross into Saudi Arabia, the Washington Post reported.

According to a report from Human Rights Watch, in multiple incidents dating from early last year, Saudi border guards allegedly killed Ethiopian migrants seeking asylum from the ongoing civil war in Yemen.

The Washington Post reported last Thursday that the United States helped train Saudi border guards for several years and sold combat vehicles and heavy weaponry to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is possible that some of the guards responsible for the attacks on migrants received training and weapons from the US Army.

The Army’s Security Assistance Command began training the maritime division of Saudi Arabia’s border guards in 2015. This training ended in July.

The Biden administration is demanding that Saudi Arabia identify the border units responsible for the alleged killings, US officials told the Washington Post.

According to eyewitnesses and survivors, the border units used small-arms fire, mortars, and close-range executions to kill thousands of Ethiopian migrants, including women and children.

After analyzing video and satellite imagery and interviewing survivors, Human Rights Watch said the alleged abuses could be crimes against humanity.

Riyadh has denied the allegations from Human Rights Watch, denouncing the report as “misleading” and “politicized.”

The officials declined to tell the Washington Post what actions the administration may take if Riyadh continues to ignore its appeals. One State Department official insisted that the administration would “not let up” about its commitment to investigating the reports.

Officials from the State Department and Pentagon acknowledged that they can’t rule out the possibility that US training and weapons may have gone to the border units facing the allegations. They said that they have not been able to independently verify which units were involved, nor has the Saudi government been forthcoming in providing the details.

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