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      Saudi Arabia and the US Gift to Humanity:
      One Child Dies Every Ten Minutes in Yemen

      By Azza Rojbi

      On April 25, 2017, the UN held a daylong Yemen aid conference with the aim to collect pledges to fund its humanitarian efforts in Yemen. The conference raised about half of the $2.1 billion sought by the UN to be able to provide some relief to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The UN secretary general António Guterres opened the conference with a report on the humanitarian disaster in Yemen “On average, a child under the age of five dies of preventable causes in Yemen every ten minutes. And this means fifty children in Yemen will die during today’s conference.”

      This humanitarian crisis in Yemen is worsening daily as the Saudi-led bombing campaign continues against the country. Backed by the US, the Saudi-led coalition began its military campaign in Yemen in March 2015 with the pretense of bringing stability and legitimate government to Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition includes United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Sudan.

      It has been over two years now since the start of this criminal war against the people of Yemen. The promise of bringing stability and peace to the Yemeni people has never seen life, Saudi Arabia and the US failed in restoring their puppet government to power, therefore continuing their inhuman and criminal war on Yemen. It is clear that they never had the interests of the Yemeni people in mind. Their strategic goal is to regain control over Yemen and expand their hegemony over North Africa and the Middle East.

      Humanitarian Crisis Deepens

      Saudi Arabia has imposed death and destruction on the people of Yemen. Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development, estimates the civilian death toll at 12,041, including 2,568 children and 1,870 women.

      The coalition airstrikes bombed and destroyed schools, hospitals, roads, homes and other civilian infrastructure. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), fewer than 45% of health facilities in the country are fully functional and 14.8 million people have no access to health care services.

      In addition to the constant bombing campaign, Saudi Arabia imposed a naval, air and land blockade against Yemen. This blockade created a shortage of food, medicine and fuel and made these vital necessities unreachable for a lot of people in Yemen. The blockade has also made it extremely difficult for humanitarian aid to reach those that desperately need it. According to the UN, the country is on the verge of famine as 17 million people need immediate food assistance. Children have been the most affected by the lack of food and resources with 2.2 million children severely and acutely malnourished. The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien described the situation in Yemen as becoming “the world's worst humanitarian disaster”.

      US, UK, Canada are Funding & Backing Saudi Crimes

      Saudi Arabia has been carrying its inhuman and criminal war and blockade on Yemen with the full backing of the United States government and their imperialist allies. Since day one of the bombing campaign, the US has provided logistical, political and financial support to the Saudi-led coalition.

      According to Military.com:
      “Since April 2015, the Air Force has logged 1,778 tanker sorties for the operation, US Air Forces Central Command spokeswoman Capt. Kathleen Atanasoff told Military.com on Tuesday. That includes 1,069 over the past year, an increase of 360, or 50 percent, from the 709 in the previous period. "These operations are ongoing, with aircraft refueling occurring daily," Atanasoff said in an email.”

      The Trump administration is continuing and escalating the US involvement and support in the Saudi crimes in Yemen. Trump approved the resumption of arms sale to Saudi Arabia and welcomed to the White House a Saudi delegation led by the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in March of this year for a series of meetings. Saudi military spokesperson General Ahmed Asiri, told reporters in Washington “What we heard was that they would increase cooperation in all the dimensions” and that the stepped-up cooperation would likely involve “intelligence sharing, equipment, and training,” for Saudi pilots and troops.

      The UK has also been playing a major role in supporting the Saudi-led coalition bombing campaign in Yemen. The Telegraph reported that “British military advisers are in control rooms assisting the Saudi-led coalition staging bombing raids across Yemen”. The UK has also continued to arm the Saudi military, selling £3.3bn worth of weapons to the kingdom since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015.

      Alongside the US and UK governments, Canada is also complicit in providing political and military support to Saudi Arabia. The Trudeau government approved a $15bn arms deal to provide light armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia. According to the Globe and Mail, “The light-armored vehicles, or LAVs, will be equipped with machine guns, medium- or high-caliber weapons or even big-barrel guns that can fire 105mm shells or anti-tank missiles.”

      In Defense of Yemen: Hands off Yemen!

      It is becoming more and more difficult for the Saudi-led coalition to continue justifying their hideous crimes against the people of Yemen. Despite all the death and destruction Saudi Arabia is imposing on them, the Yemeni people continue to show bravery and resistance to the Saudi aggressor. They are organizing and leading the fight on the ground and in social media to counter all the Saudi lies and defend their sovereignty and their beloved country.

      Let’s join the Yemeni people in exposing the atrocities committed by the US, Saudi Arabia and their allies in Yemen. Let’s join the Yemeni people in fighting for their self-determination, sovereignty and human rights. A victory for the Yemeni people represents a victory for all oppressed and working people in the Middle East, North Africa and around the world.

      US/Saudi Arabia Hands off Yemen!
      Stop Bombing Yemen!
      Lift the Naval, Air and Land Blockade on Yemen!

      Follow Azza on Twitter:@Azza_R14

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