As the world fights the Covid-19 global pandemic, the people of Yemen face this threat under the Saudi-led bombing and blockade. According to data collected by The Yemen Data Project: “February  saw the highest number of air raids in a single month since December 2018 and one of the deadliest air raids for children since the coalition's air campaign began in 2015. 155 Saudi-led coalition bombings in the month resulted in 58 civilian casualties, 43 of them children - the highest number of casualties in a single month since August 2019.”
“Saudi coalition air raids escalated for the third consecutive month in March  rising to 227 bombings, a 46% rise from February”. Today, despite Saudi Arabia’s announcement of a ceasefire in Yemen, The Yemen Data Project continues to record air raids by the Saudi-led coalition. The continuous bombing worsens an already dire humanitarian situation in the country.
An outbreak of Covid-19 would be devastating for Yemen. The Saudi-led war destroyed the healthcare infrastructure of the country. Already Yemen has been grappling with high rates of the spread of diseases like malaria, diphtheria, cholera and also acute malnutrition. Less than 50 percent of healthcare facilities in Yemen are functioning. Those that are still operational deal with lack of medical staff, equipment and medicine. According to the United Nations an estimated 19.7 million people in Yemen lack access to basic healthcare.”
5 Years of Saudi-led War, What Has Been Achieved?
March 26, 2020 marked five years since the start of the U.S. backed Saudi-led war on Yemen. What did the Saudi-led coalition achieve in Yemen except for death and destruction? Where are the Saudi promises of bringing back peace and stability to Yemen?
Yemen today is home to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Five years of war and bombing by the Saudi-led coalition destroyed the life and future of the Yemeni people. According to the U.S.-based research group Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), over 100,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015. In addition to the tragic human loss, the Saudi-led coalition bombing targets and destroys homes, schools, hospitals, mosques, markets, factories and many other vital infrastructures. Over 24 million people, 80% of Yemen's population, are in dire need of humanitarian aid and 14 million are on the brink of famine, according to the United Nations.
In the midst of this humanitarian crisis and the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, the Saudi-led coalition continues its bombing campaign in Yemen. In addition to the destruction and killings, Saudi Arabia has been imposing a sea, land and air blockade on Yemen. The blockade continues to cause shortages of fuel, food and much needed medicine.
Who’s Behind the Crisis?
The Saudi-led coalition supported by the United States intervened in Yemen under the guise of defending legitimacy and stability. Nevertheless, the main Saudi Arabia motivation was to restore to power their exiled puppet former President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Saudi Arabia and the United States could not afford the possibility of the formation of an independent Yemeni government that would not bow to their orders and interests. As the war enters its 6th year, it becomes clear that the Saudi-led intervention and war on Yemen has only destroyed life in Yemen and devastated what was already the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Saudi Arabia and its close ally the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are seen as the face of the war on Yemen, but they would have not been able to carry it out without the military, logistical and political support of the United States and its imperialist allies such as Canada, France, Germany and England.
According to the report released in March 2020 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on the “Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2019”:
“Saudi Arabia was the world’s largest arms importer in 2015–19. Its imports of major arms increased by 130 per cent compared with the previous five-year period and it accounted for 12 per cent of global arms imports in 2015–19. Despite the wide-ranging concerns in the USA and the United Kingdom about Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen, both the USA and the UK continued to export arms to Saudi Arabia in 2015–19. A total of 73 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s arms imports came from the USA and 13 per cent from the UK.”
In addition to the United States and the UK, Canada, France, Germany and other European countries have sold weapons and provided technical training to Saudi Arabia and the UAE since the start of the war in 2015.
Canada exported over $2 billion of military goods to Saudi Arabia between 2015-2018 according to Canada’s annual “Report on the Export of Military Goods.” Saudi Arabia has been the largest non-US buyer of Canadian military goods for three consecutive years: 2016, 2017, and 2018. The Trudeau Liberal government has not yet released their report for 2019 but it won’t be surprising to see Saudi Arabia again as one of the top export destinations for Canadian weapons and military goods.
The Canadian government has also moved ahead with a controversial $15 billion arms deals to supply Saudi Arabia with light-armored vehicles (LAV) equipped with heavy guns and cannon despite Saudi Arabia’s horrific track record!
Hands Off Yemen!
Imperialist countries make billions selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE and have fueled the war against the people of Yemen. They never cared about the life and future of the Yemeni people, their main interest was always to further expand their hegemony and control over countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The war has brought death and destruction over Yemen and further fractured and destabilized the country and region. There cannot be peace in Yemen without the full withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries and a full lifting of the Saudi blockade on the country.
Yemen is one of the oldest cradles of civilization in the world. The proud Yemeni people deserve a future of peace and prosperity in a sovereign and independent country. A future involving Yemeni voices without any foreign intervention or meddling.
In this time of the Covid-19 pandemic it is crucial to demand an immediate end to the war on Yemen and the full lifting of the Saudi blockade and sanctions against Yemen to allow for critical goods, medicine and humanitarian aid to reach people in need.
Imperialists/Saudi Arabia Hands off Yemen!
End the Blockade of Yemen!
Follow Azza on Twitter: @Azza_r14
Back to Article Listing