The United Nations has said that Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian disaster in modern history from war, drought, famine and cholera. Since 2015, Saudi led forces have been making incursions into Yemen, attempting to take over control of the country from the indigenous Houthi government. The Saudi Coalition includes all Persian Gulf countries except Iran, which sides with the Houthi People.
The United States has sold $300 Billion in weapons to the Saudi Coalition, refueled Saudi war planes in flight with US planes, and provided the intelligence for bombing targets. In three years, the Saudi-Emirati Coalition has carried out nearly 17,000 bombing raids, an average of 15 a day, with 1/3 of the bombs hitting civilian populations. It is a cruel strategy to force a surrender by inflicting suffering on the people of Yemen.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis have perished as a result of the war, hunger and disease. Vital infrastructure has been destroyed. Hospitals, schools, transportation systems have been targeted. The first structures destroyed were the water treatment plants. One million people have contracted cholera, due to lack of sanitation. The country was already suffering from drought and food shortages, and now 60% of Yemeni people are food insecure. Twenty two million people need some form of humanitarian assistance. Seven million people are on the brink of starvation. Fifty thousand children died in 2017, and every 10 minutes a Yemeni child dies- from preventable causes.
Humanitarian groups struggle to provide aid while the United Nations requests for international aid are vastly underfunded. Ports and airports have been blockaded or bombed making delivery of needed food, medicine and fuel difficult. Efforts to end the UN Security Council support of this war have been blocked by Coalition countries.
US air support, intelligence and US manufactured weapons have been implicated in many tragic deaths of civilians. There are many indiscriminate attacks on civilians, with no direct military target. Cluster munitions have been used, that cause high casualties, in violation of the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions.
On Aug.9, 2018, a 500 pound bomb that was made in the US was dropped on a school bus, killing 34 children, 4 teachers and 12 local people and injuring 55 students. UNICEF had just issued blue backpacks to the children for their outing. Afterward, the ground was strewn with bloody backpacks. In May, 2016, the deadliest market strike took place, killing 107 civilians. Human Rights Watch documented that a US-made bomb was used. In April 2018, a wedding party was bombed, killing 33 persons. A Doctors Without Borders hospital and cholera treatment plant have been bombed. After one-hundred and forty people were killed in a funeral procession, a second bomb was dropped on the first responders. These attacks are against the laws of war and International Humanitarian Law.
Brutal tortures are being carried out in a network of clandestine prisons within Yemen; they must be abolished. Two million Yemeni people have been internally displaced and 200,000 people have fled Yemen. Refugees risk death in dangerous sea crossings, with exploitation and robbery by human traffickers. Conditions in the country are worsening, and people are becoming more desperate.
US involvement in this war is extensive. The US has supplied over 60% of Saudi weapon, and war profits have soared for weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The billions of dollars in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia- United Arab Emirate (UAE) Coalition create thousands of jobs in the defense industry in many congressional districts. Lobbyists for the defense industries exert enormous pressure on congress and spend vast amounts of money. Weapons industries see a $1,000 return for every dollar spent on lobbying. They try to justify this by the pretense that we’re fighting Al-Qaeda and ISIS on the Arabian Peninsula, but the Houthi people are strongly opposed to Al- Qaeda, as is Iran . Al Qaeda is fighting on the side of the Saudi Coalition, putting the US on the side of our mortal enemies.
Congress has never declared war on the people of Yemen, and the support the US provides is outside of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Efforts to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE have narrowly been defeated. Congressional Representatives Ro Khanna, Mark Pocan (WI) and Jim McGovern have introduced legislation to invoke the War Powers Resolution to invoke a debate and vote to withdraw unauthorized forces from the Yemen war. Our congressional representative Gwen Moore has signed on.
Call your Congressional Representatives and Senators to end this unconstitutional, illegal and immoral war. This war will end without American support. D.C. Capitol Switchboard- 201-224-3121
For further reading and action on ending the war in Yemen, go to Just Foreign Policy, Code Pink, Voices for Creative Non-Violence.