This week marks the beginning of year three of the Saudi-led military intervention in the civil war in Yemen, an intervention that has resulted in an epic tragedy of destruction and starvation. Tens of thousands of Yemenis marked the occasion by pouring into the streets of the capital, Sanna, to call for an end to the Saudi airstrikes that have been supported by the United States military. But instead of pushing to jump-start stalemated negotiations to end the conflict, the Trump administration seems anxious to get more deeply involved in the war by supporting an attack on the key port of Hodeidah and resuming halted weapons sales.
Tag Archives: Yemen
By Amy Goodman and Denis MoynihanDemocracy NowThe world is facing the most serious humanitarian catastrophe since the end of World War II. Twenty million people are at risk of starving to death in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and South Sudan.
The Pakistan army is sending a brigade of combat troops to shore up Saudi Arabia’s vulnerable southern border from reprisal attacks mounted by the Houthis in Yemen, according to senior security sources.
The brigade will be based in the south of the Kingdom, but will only be deployed inside its border, the sources told Middle East Eye. “It will not be used beyond Saudi borders,” one said.
It is the latest twist in a brutal and devastating two-year war, which has killed more than 10,000 people in Yemen, injured over 40,000 and brought the impoverished nation to the verge of famine.
The Trump administration is making its first radical policy change in the Middle East by escalating American involvement in the civil war in Yemen. Wrecked by years of conflict, the unfortunate country will supposedly be the place where the US will start to confront and roll back Iranian influence in the region as a whole.
To this end, the US is to increase military support for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and local Yemeni allies in a bid to overthrow the Houthis – a militarised Shia movement strong in northern Yemen – fighting alongside much of the Yemeni army, which remains loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Le conflit yéménite va entrer à la fin du mois de mars dans sa troisième année. Alors que le pays était déjà considéré comme le plus pauvre de la péninsule Arabique avant d’être ravagé par la guerre, la situation humanitaire est aujourd’hui alarmante. Un rapport d’experts onusiens rendu public fin février confirme que le Yémen est aux portes de la famine. L’ONU considère que 1,7 milliard de dollars seraient nécessaires pour contrer ce fléau, tout en soulignant que « la réponse humanitaire ne sera pas suffisante ».
L’approvisionnement est rendu de plus en plus difficile par l’extension des combats dans les zones portuaires, comme à Hodeidah par lequel transitent 70 % des denrées alimentaires. Les rebelles houthis, alliés à l’ex-président Ali Abdallah Saleh, s’opposent aux troupes loyalistes soutenus par la coalition arabe, notamment le long des côtes de la mer rouge. Près de 50 000 personnes ont déjà été déplacées à la suite de ces combats, selon l’ONU.
On January 29, 5-year-old Sinan al Ameri was asleep with his mother, his aunt, and 12 other children in a one-room stone hut typical of poor rural villages in the highlands of Yemen. A little after 1 a.m., the women and children awoke to the sound of a gunfight erupting a few hundred feet away. Roughly 30 members of Navy SEAL Team 6 were storming the eastern hillside of the remote settlement.According to residents of the village of al Ghayil, in Yemen’s al Bayda province, the first to die in the assault was 13-year-old Nasser al Dhahab. The house of his uncle, Sheikh Abdulraouf al Dhahab, and the building behind it, the home of 65-year-old Abdallah al Ameri and his son Mohammed al Ameri, 38, appeared to be the targets of the U.S. forces, who called in air support as they were pinned down in a nearly hourlong firefight.With the SEALs taking heavy fire on the lower slopes, attack helicopters swept over the hillside hamlet above. In what seemed to be blind panic, the gunships bombarded the entire village, striking more than a dozen buildings, razing stone dwellings where families slept, and wiping out more than 120 goats, sheep, and donkeys.Three projectiles tore through the straw and timber roof of the home where Sinan slept. Cowering in a corner, Sinan’s mother, 30-year-old Fatim Saleh Mohsen, decided to flee the bombardment. Grabbing her 18-month-old son and ushering her terrified children into the narrow outdoor passageway between the tightly packed dwellings, she headed into the open. Over a week later, Sinan’s aunt Nadr al Ameri wept as she stood in the same room and recalled watching her sister run out the door into the darkness.
Little children should not be drawing missiles and corpses. When I met Yemeni girls and boys in a sandy, sun-scorched refugee camp in the horn of Africa, the pictures they had drawn chilled me. One depicted aeroplanes raining missiles down on houses; there were frowning corpses in crudely drawn puddles of blood, a weeping child beside them. These were horrors they had suffered – and they suffered them, in part, because of the role of Britain’s government.
Now the High Court will decide if Brexit Britain is complicit in the devastating conflict between Saudi Arabia and Yemen
In the south west corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Britain is complicit in one of the worst and least noticed crimes against humanity in the 21st century. Thanks to Saudi air strikes starting two years ago, a localised civil war in Yemen was transformed into a devastating conflict which has brought 12 million people to the edge of famine. Some 19 million Yemenis out of a total population of 25 million lack fresh water to drink and 4 million do not have enough food to eat.
In bringing about this man-made calamity, the British Government has played a small ignoble role as a supplier of weapons to Saudi Arabia whose air raids are primarily responsible for the destruction.
IN 2010, PRESIDENT Obama directed the CIA to assassinate an American citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime, and the agency successfully carried out that order a year later with a September 2011 drone strike. While that assassination created widespread debate — the once-again-beloved ACLU sued Obama to restrain him from the assassination on the ground of due process and then, when that suit was dismissed, sued Obama again after the killing was carried out — another drone killing carried out shortly thereafter was perhaps even more significant yet generated relatively little attention.
The ruins carpeted the city market, rippling outwards in waves of destruction. Broken beams, collapsed roofs, exploded metal shutters and fossilised merchandise crumbled underfoot.
In one of the burnt-out shells of the shops where raisins, nuts, fabrics, incense and stone pots were traded for hundreds of years, all that was to be found was a box of coke bottles, a sofa and a child nailing wooden sticks together.
This is Sa’ada, ground zero of the 20-month Saudi campaign in Yemen, a largely forgotten conflict that has killed more than 10,000, uprooted 3 million and left perhaps 14 million – more than half the country – short of food, many on the brink of starvation.
When the UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, spoke recently – and controversially – about Saudi Arabia and its proxy wars in the Middle East, this is the sort of thing he was talking about. The glib way to understand this is as a remote-controlled war between the Saudis, supporting the ousted government, and the ever restless Houthi movement, which has tacit Iranian support.