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      New Era of War & Occupation
      Imperialist Strategy and War in Yemen

      By Azza Rojbi

      Today, Yemen remains the world's worst humanitarian crisis as described by the United Nations (UN). The Saudi-led war on Yemen has ravaged the country and brought death and destruction onto its people. According to the U.S. based research group, Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), nearly 100,000 people have been killed in Yemen. Those who survive the bombings and war are pushed to the brink of famine.

      The Saudi-led coalition had indiscriminately bombed homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, markets, water and sanitation facilities, roads and many other civilian infrastructures. This destruction, combined with an air, naval and maritime blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their evil coalition, has created an unliveable situation for the people of Yemen where access to food and basic necessitates is almost impossible. The most recent example is the fuel shortage crisis which is exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation. Several hospitals will run out of fuel; thousands of lives will be in peril as a direct action of the Saudi-led coalition which continues to prevent fuel ships from entering the port of Hodeidah in Yemen.

      5 Years of Saudi-led War, No Victory in Sight

      Saudi Arabia started its war on Yemen in March 2015. Without the full support of the United States and its imperialist allies, the Saudi-led coalition would have not been capable of continuing its senseless war against the people of Yemen. As the Guardian Newspaper (theguardian.com) recently published on October 3, in an Opinion piece by @BazziNYU “A team of United Nations investigators, commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, presented a devastating report in Geneva in early September detailing how the US, along with Britain and France, are likely complicit in war crimes in Yemen because of continued weapons sales and intelligence support to the Saudis and their allies, especially the United Arab Emirates [UAE].”

      Almost five years of war and billions of dollars spent in arms and weaponry, have not brought Saudi Arabia even one iota closer to a victory in Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition has not achieved any of its so-called goals. They have failed to eliminate Ansar al-Allah (Houthi) forces and reinstate to power their puppet, former Yemeni president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who continues to hide in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

      The Saudi-led coalition is nowhere near declaring any victory in Yemen, the morale is low among the thousands of mercenaries recruited by the coalition. Clashes and infighting has erupted in Aden between the Saudi-backed forces and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) militia.

      In contrast, Yemen is showing that it can defend itself and take the offensive against the Saudi-led coalition. The Houthis have launched multiple drones and cruise missiles attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The most significant one took place on September 14 as they targeted the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and another major oilfield in the country. The shockwaves from the attack were felt internationally as it knocked out 50% of Saudi Arabia's oil production, which is over 5% of the daily global oil supply.

      Saudi Arabia is the world’s third-highest defence spender. The kingdom spent about $70 billion on buying arms in 2018. Despite all the sophisticated weapons and military equipment, the Yemeni resistance was able to deal a big blow to Saudi oil infrastructure. Saudi and U.S. missile defence systems failed to detect or deter the attack, a big embarrassment for the U.S. military machine.

      A week after the attack, the Trump administration authorized deploying additional air defence systems, accompanied by 200 U.S. troops, to Saudi Arabia to help protect their Saudi puppet regime.

      Saudi Nightmare Continues

      Another key moment in the war on Yemen came two weeks after the major attack on Saudi oil infrastructure as Houthi forces announced a successful military offensive against Saudi-led coalition forces near the border with Saudi Arabia. Speaking to media, Ansar al-Allah military spokesman Yahya Saria said that the operation destroyed three brigades and one regiment of the Saudi-led coalition forces, killing or wounding 500 fighters and capturing 2,000 troops, a large number of weapons, and hundreds of military vehicles belonging to the Saudi forces.

      The Saudi-led coalition dismissed the assertions of a victory by the Houthi forces, but multiple images and footage released of the aftermath of the attack make it impossible for the Saudi-led coalition to deny its massive losses.

      In an article the Washington Post on September 29, 2019 @raghavanWaPo writes:

      “The Houthi-owned Al-Masirah television network broadcast footage showing a long, snaking line of what the rebels said was captured troops walking in rugged terrain. Many of the men, who apparently surrendered to the rebels, were dressed in flip flops and the traditional sarong-like clothing worn in Yemen and parts of Saudi Arabia. A handful wore tan camouflage uniforms. At least two said on camera that they were citizens of Saudi Arabia.”

      These embarrassing setbacks are more proof that Saudi Arabia is losing the war. The Yemeni Houthi resistance is in a stronger position against the Saudi-led coalition forces, and they have shown their willingness to defend themselves and fight to stop the horrific war on their country. They have announced that they will halt drones and ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabia if the coalition stops launching airstrikes against Yemen and the Yemeni resistance has unilaterally released 290 prisoners that were captured fighting for the Saudi-led coalition.

      Canada’s Ugly Role in Yemen Exposed Again

      Since 2015, the year the war on Yemen started, the government of Canada has approved “more than $284 million in exports of Canadian weapons and military goods to the countries bombing Yemen” according to an investigative article published by the Toronto Star on April 30, 2018.

      In addition, in 2016 the Trudeau government approved a $15 billion arms deal, signed by the previous Harper government, to supply Saudi Arabia with light-armoured vehicles (LAV) equipped with heavy guns and cannon. Canada's former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dennis Horak, defended the deal in an interview with CBC News in October 2018: "we've been selling some of this equipment to them for more than 25 years. We don't have a record of them using these particular vehicles and this equipment for abusing human rights."

      As reported by CBC/Radio Canada International, recent footage released by the Houthis of the aftermath of their cross border offensive against the Saudi-led coalition “appear to show at least five damaged or destroyed LAVs of various models produced by General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS-C) in London, Ontario, along with other armoured vehicles and large quantities of light weapons and ammunition.” This has not been the first sighting of the Canadian made armoured vehicles being used by Saudi Arabia and their mercenaries in the horrendous war on Yemen, but the Canadian government continues to ignore the damning evidence.

      According to the Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada for the 2018 calendar year published by Global Affairs Canada on their website “Saudi Arabia was the largest non-U.S. export destination in 2018, receiving approximately $1.282 billion in Canadian military exports (accounting for 61.96% of the total value of non-U.S. military exports).”

      As people living in Canada, it is crucial that to unite our voices and continue to hold the government of Canada for selling weapons and military equipment to Saudi Arabia and challenge their complicity in the atrocities of the war on Yemen.

      End the War on Yemen

      Saudi Arabia is one of the most militarized nations in the world, with the support of the U.S. and other imperialist countries it has been waging a cruel war against the people of Yemen. The war has only brought death and destruction to Yemen and has further fractured the country and destabilized the Middle East. A real solution to the crisis would have to include an immediate end of the Saudi-led war on Yemen. The cruel blockade on the country must be immediately lifted to allow for critical goods and medicine to reach Yemen.

      The Yemeni people have shown their steadfast commitment in defending their country and their hope for peace and an end to the foreign aggression on their homeland.

      The self-determination and sovereignty of Yemen needs to be respected, the future of Yemen needs to be decided and built by Yemenis themselves, not by foreign powers fueling the conflict with money and weaponry. The only interest of the United States and its imperialist allies is to expand their hegemony and control in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). They have no credibility whatsoever. Their history of interventions in MENA is one of continuous destruction by war and occupation.

      U.S., Saudi and UAE Stop the War on Yemen!
      All Foreign Troops Out of Yemen Now!
      Stop Bombing People of Yemen!
      End the Blockade of Yemen!

      Follow Azza on Twitter: @Azza_R14

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