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Meet the American Firm Whose Internationally Banned Cluster Bombs Are Killing Civilians in Yemen

The use of the bombs also violates American export law, according to a new Human Rights Watch report.

On December 12, Muhammad Ahmad was sitting on a hill with six friends watching the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition launch air strikes on the port of al-Hayma, located in Yemen’s Hodaida governorate less than a mile from his fishing village.

Suddenly, the 33-year-old saw something strange: “About 20 white parachutes in the air, falling toward the port. Less than a minute later, each one released a cloud of black smoke as it neared the ground and exploded,” Ahmad told Human Rights Watch researchers.

“Less than five minutes later, it happened again, another bomb let out a group of about 20 parachutes and the same thing happened,” he continued. “But because of the direction the wind was blowing, the parachutes suddenly started falling toward our village.”

Those parachutes would go on to hit numerous homes in the town, breaking through walls and shattering windows before wounding at least one woman and two children.

Now, a new HRW report has determined that the attack involved internationally banned cluster munitions that were manufactured by Textron Systems, an aerospace and defense manufacturing firm headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island.

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