Yemen war: More than half of British people unaware of ongoing conflict seeing UK weapons deployed by Saudis

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More than half of British people are unaware of the “forgotten war” underway in Yemen, despite the Government’s support for a military coalition accused of killing thousands of civilians.

A YouGov poll seen exclusively by The Independent showed 49 per cent of people knew of the country’s ongoing civil war, which has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced three million more and left 14 million facing starvation.

The figure was even lower for the 18 to 24 age group, where only 37 per cent were aware of the Yemen conflict as it enters its third year of bloodshed.

More than 2,100 people were given a list of 16 countries and asked to identify any “currently involved in an ongoing armed conflict” for the research, with 84 per cent naming the Syrian civil war.

The Human Appeal, a Manchester-based charity that commissioned the poll, warned a lack of international awareness was worsening a worsening humanitarian crisis in the Yemen.

“The crisis in Yemen has been forgotten about or ignored completely,” said CEO Othman Moqbel.

“We believe this is because that the conflict has not generated a huge amount of refugees coming to Europe and there is the misperception amongst the public that it’s only a regional crisis.

“To treat what is currently happening in Yemen, and has been happening for two years, as something insignificant is turning a blind eye to the escalating humanitarian emergency.”

At least 75 people are estimated to be killed or injured every day in the conflict, which has pushed the country to the brink of famine as 14 million people lack a stable access to food.

Almost 3,800 civilians have been killed by the conflict, where President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s government is fighting Houthi rebels and fighters loyal to the former President, President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The conflict started in March 2015 after an opposition offensive drove the government out of the capital Sana’a, sparking an intervention by Saudi Arabia and its allies to support the internationally recognised government.

The UN human rights office said the Saudi-led air campaign, seeing rebel-controlled areas heavily bombarded, was responsible for 60 per cent of civilian deaths – almost 2,300 lives.

British-manufactured weapons, including cluster bombs, have been used in the strikes, despite calls by MPs to suspend sales to Saudi Arabia over war crimes allegations.

Peter Salisbury, a senior research fellow in the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House, said Britain was the principal sponsor of a UN Security Council resolution used by Saudi Arabia to justify its intervention.

“The UK is also a huge arms supplier and provides a great deal of logistical support to Saudi forces,” he told The Independent.

“Arguably the UK has also given political coverage to the Saudis by preventing various resolutions and investigations from happening.”

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Theresa May meeting King Salman of Saudi Arabia in December at a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Bahrain (Getty)

Mr Salisbury said that while opposing the attempted coup in Yemen, the British Government was “quiet” about the military overthrowing Egypt’s elected government in 2013.

“The decision was made that Yemen was a ‘bad coup’,” he added. “And that in many ways comes down to where allies sit.”

Iran supports Houthi forces in Yemen, with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies supporting the Hadi government.

As battles continue, the Human Appeal is among international charities attempting to provide aid to Yemen’s impoverished population.

It has provided food parcels to thousands of families, clean drinking water for 37,500 people, blankets, clothing and healthcare projects including supporting the Al Jumhori public hospital.

Hundreds of Somali refugees who originally fled conflict in their home country are among those caught up in the violence in Yemen, with more than 40 massacred by a helicopter gunship as they attempted to flee on a boat on Thursday night.

While the humanitarian situation deteriorates, the conflict has largely reached a stalemate, with rebels controlling much of densely populated western Yemen, the Hadi government in the centre and east and pockets of territory held by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsuala (AQAP), Islamist militias and Isis.

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Yemenis inspect damaged houses following reported Saudi-led coalition air strikes on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital Sanaa (Getty)

But the UN Refugee Agency has warned of intensified hostilities in recent weeks, forcing more than 62,000 people from their homes in western and central Yemen, who are now sleeping in public buildings, tents, on the streets or in ruined buildings.

Calling Yemen a “forgotten war”, Mr Salisbury said neither a peaceful resolution nor an outright victory for any party was likely in the near future.

“The Trump presidency could see US play a more decisive role,” he added, although American forces have mainly been targeting AQAP terrorists, including in a botched raid that killed dozens of civilians earlier this year.

“Yemen is not an island, it is connected to other countries and the rest of the world and we’re seeing this massive growth in sectarian violence.

“All of these things have long-tern consequences for countries outside of Yemen.”

The British Government stresses that although it the Saudi-led intervention “to deter aggression by the Houthis and allow for the return of the legitimate Yemeni Government”, it is not part of the coalition.

“British personnel are not involved in carrying out strikes, directing or conducting operations in Yemen, nor involved in the Saudi targeting decision-making process,” a spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told The Independent

“Peace talks are the top priority. The UK has played a leading role in diplomatic efforts, including bringing together key international actors to try and find a peaceful solution.”

The UK is the fourth largest donor to Yemen, committing £103 million in humanitarian aid last year.

Bin Salman’s signature on Damascus’s bombings توقيع بن سلمان على تفجيرات دمشق

Bin Salman’s signature on Damascus’s bombings

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Those who know the personality of the Saudi Crown Crown Prince and the Defense Minister in the government of his father, the degrees of narcissism which controls him and the absurd bloodiness in his decisions taken daily to bomb the poor of Yemen in their vulnerable homes whether old people, women, or children know that he does not hesitate to ask for celebrating a death scene, which through it he can present his credits to the new US President who is superficial and narcissistic too and who is obsessed with the language of greatness, discipline, and reprimand to those who do not keep up with him, and where the US decision can involve him in a war due to an emotional debate with a president of an allied country so how with the opponents?.

Mohammed Bin Salman went to Washington under Israeli arrangement, preceded by understandings translated by Bin Salman by making Al Hodiedah his next destination in Yemen. along with the future of the Yemeni missiles for the negotiation. The two demands are Israeli that were expressed by Moshe Ya’alon with the beginning of the war on Yemen when he was the Minister of the war in the occupation government by saying that Eilat is at risk as long as Al Hodeidah is at the hands of Al Houthis and as long as the Yemeni missiles arsenal is safe and secure.

Yesterday Ya’alon attacked the Turkish President Recep Erdogan and accused him of the seeking for a new Ottoman which till yesterday it was desired ally to overthrow Syria, as well as the factions that are affiliated to the Saudi and the Israeli command rebel against Ankara’s demands to join Astana. The dispute is neither principal nor ideological nor political nor military about the goals and the alliances, but it is the logic of as you see me I see you, when Ankara thought about the approaching of the US-Russian understanding it sought to meet it without its Israeli or the Saudi allies in the war on Syria and has led to the settlement of Aleppo, Moscow’s meeting, and Astana path with the partnership of Iran. Therefore the strategic enemy of Tel Aviv and Riyadh by the logic of the interests is as the Kurds according to the Turks.

When the Turks reached to the certainty of the US reluctance of accepting their sweep with the Kurdish expansion they returned to Moscow and Astana and asked from their groups to go, they got used to the idea of the regression of the contrived campaign against Iran which they did for the sake of America, hoping to please him in exchange of the Kurds, they decided to keep the security issue from the Kurdish gate a ceiling for their Syrian movement, so there were no commons between them and the allies who do not want to harm the Turks. but they do not mind to say in front of the American “ our ally has a privacy and has its own speech and we have our own privacy and speech”  and if its dominance in the northern of Syria then the south will not be a subject of the Turkish calendar.

Bin Salman goes with the blessing of Israel to say that we will continue the war in Syria and Yemen on Iran and its allies, we have the capacity to withstand so do not dash to the settlements, wage the battles against ISIS in the northern of Syria with the cooperation of Russia or without it, with the cooperation of Turkey or without, it belongs to you, but the most important thing is that the cost must not be a full settlement for all of Syria that legalizes the victory of Iran and its allies. The temporal alliances are enough for the war on ISIS, since ISIS has not any notable presence in the southern of Syria but Iran and its allies; the Syrian country, then Hezbollah, and then the present advisers and allies; those form a danger to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and America. When there is a settlement that confines the Iranian influence with what pleases America then it is a settlement that pleases Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The bombings of Damascus and the reluctance of going to Astana say that the Turkish command on the armed groups ends at the borders of the northern of Syria, then the Saudi and the Israeli command starts, it waits for the US sponsorship, so the bombings made by their two suicide bombers who sought for a goal to bomb themselves in, because the timing is important since they were notified from their operators that the paradise is waiting for them today. Here is the celebration of the remembrance of “the revolution” that is offered by the “guide of the revolution” Bin Salman and is blessed by Ya’alon to the rebels who announced one day that they went out seeking for civil peaceful multilateralism Syria.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

توقيع بن سلمان على تفجيرات دمشق

مارس 16, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– الذين يعرفون شخصية ولي ولي العهد السعودي ووزير الدفاع في حكومة والده ودرجة النرجسية التي تتحكّم به، والدموية العبثية في قراراته التي يتخذها يومياً بأومر قصف فقراء اليمن في بيوتهم الهشة، شيوخاً ونساء وأطفالاً، يعرفون أنه لا يتورّع عن طلب مشهد موت احتفالي يقدّم عبره أوراق اعتماده للرئيس الأميركي الجديد، السطحي والنرجسي أيضاً والمأخوذ بلغة العظمة والتأديب والتوبيخ لمن لا يجاريه، وحيث يمكن وتسلس الآلة الأميركية له القرار يمكن له التورط بحرب بسبب سجال انفعالي مع رئيس دولة حليفة، فكيف بالخصوم؟

– يذهب محمد بن سلمان بترتيب «إسرائيلي» إلى واشنطن، سبقته إليها تفاهمات يترجمها بن سلمان بجعل مدينة الحديدة وجهته المقبلة في اليمن ومعها على الطاولة مستقبل الصواريخ اليمنية للتفاوض، والمطلبان «إسرائيليان»، عبر عنها موشي يعلون مع بدء حرب اليمن، يوم كان وزيراً للحرب في حكومة الاحتلال بقوله، إن إيلات تحت الخطر ما دامت الحديدة بيد الحوثيين، وما دامت ترسانة الصواريخ اليمنية سليمة وآمنة.

– بن يعلون أمس، يهاجم الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، ويتّهمه بالسعي لعثمانية جديدة كانت حتى الأمس حليفاً مطلوباً لإسقاط سورية، ومثله تتمرّد الفصائل التابعة للإمرة السعودية و«الإسرائيلية» على طلبات أنقرة بالالتحاق بأستانة، والخلاف ليس مبدئياً ولا عقائدياً ولا حتى بسياسي أو عسكري حول الأهداف والتحالفات، إنه منطق «كما تراني يا جميل أراك»، فعندما اعتقدت أنقرة بقرب التفاهم الروسي الأميركي سعت لملاقاته بدون حليفيها «الإسرائيلي» والسعودي في الحرب على سورية، وأنتجت تسوية حلب ومنها لقاء موسكو ومسار أستانة بالشراكة مع إيران، العدو الاستراتيجي لتل أبيب والرياض بمنطق المصالح، بمثل ما يشكل الأكراد قضية الأتراك.

– عندما وصل الأتراك إلى يقين التمنّع الأميركي عن قبول مقايضتهم بالتمدد الكردي، عادوا إلى موسكو وأستانة وطلبوا من جماعاتهم الذهاب، وتوطنوا مع فكرة التراجع عن الحملة المفتعلة مع إيران التي قاموا بها كرمى لعيون الأميركي أملاً بشراء رضاه كردياً، وقرروا إبقاء قضية أمنهم من البوابة الكردية سقفاً لحركتهم السورية، فسقطت المشتركات بينهم وبين الحلفاء الذين لا يريدون شراً بالأتراك، لكن لا مانع من القول أمام الأميركي «لحليفنا خصوصيته وخطابه ولنا خصوصيتنا وخطابنا»، وإن كان نفوذه في شمال سورية، فالجنوب لن يخضع للروزنامة التركية.

– يذهب بن سلمان ببركة «إسرائيلية» ليقول سنواصل الحرب في سورية واليمن، وعلى إيران وحلفائها، ولدينا قدرة الصمود، ولا تستعجلوا التسويات، وخوضوا معارك داعش شمال سورية بالتعاون مع روسيا أو بدونه، فذلك شأنكم، وبالتعاون مع تركيا أو بدونها، فذلك ايضاً شأنكم. المهم ألا يكون الثمن تسوية شاملة لكل سورية تشرّع انتصار إيران وحلفائها، فتكفي التحالفات الموضعية للحرب على داعش، ولا داعش بوجود يذكر في جنوب سورية بل إيران وحلفائها، الدولة السورية أولهم، وحزب الله ثانيهم، وما تيسر من مستشارين وحلفاء ثالثاً، وهؤلاء خطر على السعودية و«إسرائيل» وأميركا، وعندما تنضج تسوية تقيّد النفوذ الإيراني بما يرضي أميركا فهي تسوية ترضي السعودية و«إسرائيل».

– تفجيرات دمشق وممانعة الذهاب إلى أستانة تقولان إن الإمرة التركية على الجماعات المسلحة تنتهي عند حدود الشمال السوري، وتبدأ بعدها الإمرة السعودية «الإسرائيلية»، وهي إنتحارية، تنتظر الاحتضان الأميركي، فتقدم التفجيرات بانتحارييها اللذين كانا انتحاريين لبلوغ هدف يفجّران نفسيهما فيه، لأن التوقيت مهم كما تبلغا من المشغل الذي وعدهما بالجنة إن فازا بالموت اليوم وليس غداً. وها هو احتفال بذكرى «الثورة» يهديه «مرشد الثورة» بن سلمان ويباركه يعلون لثوار أعلنوا ذات يوم أنهم خرجوا طلباً لسورية مدنية سلمية تعددية.

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Which “War Torn” Country? – U.S. Slaughter In Somalia, Yemen And Syria

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biggeroriginal tweet

When I saw the above tweet this morning I wondered which “war torn” country those Somalis were fleeing from when they were murdered. The tweet doesn’t say. Were they fleeing from the “war torn” Somalia? Or were the fleeing from “war torn” Yemen?

It is a sad world when has to ponder such.

It tuned out these people were fleeing from both wars:

Coast guard Mohammad Al Alay told Reuters the refugees, carrying official UNHCR documents, were on their way from Yemen to Sudan when they were attacked by an Apache helicopter near the Bab Al Mandeb strait.

An Apache attack helicopter shot up the refugees’ boat. There are Saudi, United Emirati and U.S. Apache helicopters in or around Yemen. It is unknown which of them ordered and which executed the strike. These helicopters, their ammunition and the service for them are a favored U.S. export to belligerent dictatorships like Saudi Arabia.

The UN warns that 5 million people in Yemen are only weeks away from starving. The Saudis, the U.S. and the Emirates block all land routes, air ports and the coast of Yemen and no food supplies come through. This is an ongoing huge war crime and literally a genocide. But “western” media seem totally unimpressed. Few, if any, reports on the war on Yemen get published. Never have they so openly displayed their hypocrisy.

Somalia is falling back into an all-out civil war fueled by the decades old unwillingness of the U.S. to condone an independent local unity government. The Islamic Court Union, a unity government created by the Somalis in 2006, was the last working instance of a real Somali state. It had no Jihadist agenda and held down local warlords. It was destroyed by the Bush administration:

A UN cable from June 2006, containing notes of a meeting with senior State Department and US military officials from the Horn of Africa task force, indicates that the United States was aware of the ICU’s diversity, but would “not allow” it to rule Somalia. The United States, according to the notes, intended to “rally with Ethiopia if the ‘Jihadist’ took over.” The cable concluded, “Any Ethiopian action in Somalia would have Washington’s blessing.” Some within the US intelligence community called for dialogue or reconciliation, but their voices were drowned out by hawks determined to overthrow the ICU.

During the last 10 years an on-and-off war is waged in Somalia with the U.S. military interfering whenever peace seems to gain ground. Currently a new round of war is building up. Weapons are streaming into Somalia from Yemen, where the Houthi plunder them from their Saudi invaders:

Jonah Leff, a weapons tracing expert with conflict Armament Research, said many [Somali] pirates had turned to smuggling. They take boatloads of people [from Somalia] to Yemen and return with weapons, he said.

The wars on Somalia and Yemen are the consequences of unscrupulous and incompetent(?) U.S. foreign policy. (Cutting down the size of the U.S. State Department, as the Trump administration now plans to do, is probably the best thing one can do for world peace.)

The U.S. military should be cut down too. It is equally unscrupulous and incompetent.

Last night the U.S. military hit a mosque in Al-Jīnah in Aleppo governate in Syria. It first claimed that the strike, allegedly targeting a large meeting of al-Qaeda, was in Idleb governate. But it turned out to be miles away west of Aleppo. Locals said a mosque was hit, the roof crashed in and more than 40 people were killed during the regular prayer service. More than 120 were injured. The U.S. military said it did not hit the local mosque but a building on the other side of the small plaza.

The U.S. maps and intelligence were not up-to-date. A new, bigger mosque had been build some years ago opposite of the old mosque. The old mosque was indeed not hit. The new one was destroyed while some 200 people were in attendance. Eight hellfire missiles launched from two Reaper drones were fired at it and a 500lb bomb was then dropped on top to make sure that no one escaped alive. Al-Qaeda fighters were indeed “meeting” at that place – five times a day and together with the locals they have pressed by force to attend the Quran proscribed prayers.

Had the Russian or Syrian army committed the strike the “western” outcry would have been great. For days the media would have provide gruesome photos and stories. The U.S. ambassador at the UN would have spewed fire and brimstone. But this intelligence screw-up happened on the U.S. side. There will now be some mealymouthed explanations and an official military investigation that will find no fault and will have no consequences.

Amid this sorry incident it was amusing to see the propaganda entities the U.S. had created to blame the Syrian government turning against itself. The MI6 operated SOHR was the first to come out with a high death count. The al-Qaeda aligned, U.S./UK financed “White Helmets” rescuers made a quick photo session pretending to dig out the dead. The sectarian al-Qaeda video propagandist Bilal Abdul Kareem, which the New York Times recently portrait in a positive light, provided damning video and accusing comments. The amateur NATO researchers at Bellingcat published what they had gleaned from maps, photos and videos other people created. The NATO think tank, which defended al-Qaeda’s invasion of Idleb, will shed crocodile tears.

Each new lie and obfuscation the U.S. Central Command in the Middle East put out throughout the day was immediately debunked by the horde of U.S. financed al-Qaeda propaganda supporters. This blowback from the “information operation” against Syria will likely have consequences for future U.S. operations.

In another operation last night the Israeli air force attacked Syrian forces near Palmyra which were operating against ISIS. The Israeli fighters were chased away when the Syrians fired air defense missiles. This was an Israeli attempt to stretch the “rules of operation” it had negotiated with the Russian military in Syria. The Russians, which control the Syrian air space, had allowed Israel to hit Hizbullah weapon transports on their way to Lebanon. Attacks on any force operating against Jihadis in Syria are taboo. The Russian government summoned the Israeli ambassador. Netanyahoo broke the rules. He will now have to bear the consequences.

Posted by b at 03:42 PM

To make America “great again” Trump should fully fund food shipments, not arms shipments

Facing Famine, 20 Million People Need Food, Not Bombs

By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan

The 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. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is responding by slamming the door on refugees and cutting aid funding while proposing a massive expansion of the U.S. military.

“Millions of people are barely surviving in the space between malnutrition and death, vulnerable to diseases and outbreaks, forced to kill their animals for food and eat the grain they saved for next year’s seeds,” Antonio Guterres, the new United Nations secretary-general, said recently. “These four crises are very different, but they have one thing in common. They are all preventable. They all stem from conflict, which we must do much more to prevent and resolve.”

While the United Nations scrambles to raise the $5.6 billion needed to avert the worst impacts of these crises, the Trump administration is slashing funding to the U.S. State Department, and, according to a draft executive order obtained by The New York Times, to the United Nations as well. The order as drafted (but not yet officially signed or released) calls for “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” of U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. programs like the World Food Program, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and UNICEF. “This is, frankly, a juvenile attitude unbecoming of the world’s only superpower,” wrote former George W. Bush State Department official Stewart M. Patrick, now at the Council on Foreign Relations.

While the attitude may be juvenile, its impact on actual juveniles is deadly. Seven million people in Yemen are in danger of starvation, and 2.2 million of those are children. Close to half a million of those children are “severely and acutely malnourished,” which means they have already suffered potentially lifelong, developmental damage due to starvation.

Joel Charny, director of the Norwegian Refugee Council USA, said on the “Democracy Now!” news hour, “If the war continues, people will die from famine. I don’t think there’s any question about that. We just have to find a way for the war to end.” That would start with stopping the arming of Saudi Arabia, which is mercilessly bombing Yemen. Instead, on Tuesday, President Trump met at the White House with Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman, where they reportedly discussed resuming sales of precision-guided munitions to the Saudi dictatorship.

Amnesty International urged Trump to block new arms sales, writing, “Arming the Saudi Arabia and Bahrain governments risks complicity with war crimes, and doing so while simultaneously banning travel to the U.S. from Yemen would be even more unconscionable.”

The war in Yemen is largely seen as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the United States, under Obama and now intensified under Trump, arming the Saudis and logistically supporting their bombardment of Yemen. “It needs to be stressed that this is not something that started on January 20th,” Charny said, referring to Trump’s inauguration. “This is something that the U.S. has been driving for some time.” In his two terms, President Obama sold a record-breaking $115 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, suspending sales only after a Saudi jet attacked a Yemeni funeral with back-to-back bombings, killing 140 people and wounding 500.

Millions more face famine and a painful death by starvation in Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. In South Sudan, despite oil revenue and fertile cropland, Charny says, “unresolved political conflicts within the South Sudanese ruling class that date all the way back to the ’90s, that were covered up during the independence struggle but have since emerged,” leading to famine. In northeastern Nigeria, armed conflict between the group Boko Haram and the government make delivering humanitarian aid extremely dangerous. Somalia, where famine threatens populations that are actually reachable by the weak central government and aid agencies, Charny struck a more optimistic note: “If we’re able to mobilize food and cash quickly, we can overcome the situation in Somalia … if we get moving.”

Famine in these four countries is avoidable. President Trump should fully fund food shipments — not arms shipments — and spearhead much-needed diplomacy to avoid the immense catastrophe of 20 million horrific deaths by starvation.

This is what would make America great.

Saudis Attack Boat, Kill 42 Refugees Off Yemen

Saudis Attack Boat, Kill 42 Refugees Off Yemen

UN: Dead Included Refugees With UNHCR Documents

Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen has not only produced a humanitarian calamity in that country, but appears to be extending to people who are even adjacent to Yemen, as a Saudi military helicopter attacked a boat full of Somali refugees aiming to reach the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, killing at least 42 of them.

Hodeidah is a Red Sea port that has been the primary point of entry for humanitarian aid into Shi’ite northern Yemen, and subsequently has been regularly attacked by Saudi Arabia itself, with regular airstrikes badly damaging port infrastructure.

Somali refugees have long flocked to Yemen, just a relatively short boat ride away, though the Saudi invasion has obviously made that trip both riskier, and lower-reward, since Yemen itself is facing major humanitarian shortages because of the Saudi blockade.

The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that the slain refugees, whose bodies arrived in Hodeidah along with some survivors, included people who had official identifying documents from the UNHCR confirming their refugee status.

Russia delivers humanitarian aid to Yemen, USA/Saudi delivers more bombs

Russian humanitarian aid arrives in Yemen

A Russian NGO has delivered lifesaving aid to the desperate population of war-torn Yemen, where over 18 million people now urgently require some form of humanitarian assistance.

The first delivery of humanitarian aid from the Russian Humanitarian Mission, which cares for the needy in conflict zones, began arriving at the Darawan refugee camp, in the western Yemeni province of Amran on Thursday.

Filled with life essential supplies for the internally displaced people who are temporarily residing in the camp, the first batch of aid comprised basic foodstuff, medicines, tents and blankets.

The largely forgotten crisis in Yemen has been raging for nearly two deadly years with no end in sight. Over 18 million people in Yemen now require some form of urgent humanitarian intervention in a conflict classified by the United Nations as a Level 3 emergency or as a most severe, large-scale humanitarian crisis.

To help alleviate the human suffering in Yemen, the Russian Humanitarian Mission initiated an aid drive, where anyone willing to contribute donated anything that they could to help their fellow beings. Little by little, the mission gathered enough supplies to fill the aid convoy.

Yemen, already the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula even before the conflict, has seen the humanitarian situation further aggravated by fighting, forced displacement, and shortages of basic commodities.

Deadly diseases, most notably cholera, and the destruction of medical facilities on the ground by the continued Saudi-led bombing campaign are exacerbating the humanitarian suffering there.

According to UN estimates, some 10.3 million people are in “acute need” of immediate, lifesaving assistance. As of January 2017, at least 2 million people remained displaced by the brutal fighting. Another 1 million have returned to living in difficult conditions with limited access to food, water and healthcare.

The UN estimates that 14.8 million people lack access to basic healthcare. Only 45 per cent of health facilities are functioning, and as of October 2016, at least 274 health facilities had been damaged or destroyed, largely due to Saudi-led air strikes.

This development is especially impacting the women and children. About 3.3 million children and pregnant or lactating women are malnourished.

The war, which has so far claimed at least 10,000 lives, started in March 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its coalition of Arab countries began bombing Yemen to reinstall its ousted Sunni president.

Over the two-year military assault, Saudi warplanes have reportedly been bombing schools, hospitals, marketplaces, and other non-military targets. Leading rights groups say such indiscriminate attacks should be considered war crimes.

The most prominent human rights groups have made repeated appeals to the UK and the US — the biggest arms suppliers to Riyadh — to stop providing weapons.

During Barack Obama’s two terms as president, the US sold Saudi Arabia $115 billion worth of arms in 42 separate deals, the Center for International Policy, a US-based anti-war think tank reported in September.

It estimated that US arms offers to Saudi Arabia were more than any US administration in the history of US-Saudi relations. Meanwhile, according to Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), Britain licensed £3.3 billion (US$4.1 billion) of arms sales to Riyadh during the first 12 months of the Yemen war.

 

Saudi dictatorship attacking Yemen fishing boats

Source

Press TV – March 16, 2017
A Yemeni man checks the site of a Saudi air raid that hit a funeral reception in the Arhab district, located 40 kilometers north of the capital Sana’a, on February 16, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

A Yemeni man checks the site of a Saudi air raid that hit a funeral reception in the Arhab district, located 40 kilometers north of the capital Sana’a, on February 16, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

At least seven people have lost their lives when Saudi fighter jets carried out an airstrike off the coast of Yemen’s western province of Hudaydah as the Riyadh regime continues its atrocious aerial bombardment campaign against its beleaguered southern neighbor.

An unnamed military source told the al-Masirah television that the aircraft struck a fishing boat in waters off the coast of Durayhimi district, located 150 kilometers southwest of the capital Sana’a, on Thursday evening.

The source added that the air raid left eight other fishermen injured.

Hours later, Yemeni soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Committees launched a BM-21 Grad rocket at a gathering of Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to resigned Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Wadi Namlah area of Nihm district in Yemen’s western-central province of Sana’a, though no report of casualties was immediately available.

Early on Friday, Saudi warships shelled the coast of Tuhayta district in Hudaydah province, but there were no reports on possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.

Yemeni men check the site of a Saudi air raid on a funeral reception in the Arhab district, located 40 kilometers north of the capital Sana’a, on February 16, 2017.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a deadly military campaign against Yemen since March 2015. The kingdom has also imposed an aerial and naval blockade on its southern neighbor.

Britain and the US have provided huge amounts of arms and military training to the Saudi forces.

According to the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, the Saudi military campaign has claimed the lives of 10,000 Yemenis and left 40,000 others wounded.

McGoldrick told reporters in Sana’a earlier this year that the figure was based on casualty counts given by health facilities and that the actual number might be higher.

Local Yemeni sources have already put the death toll from the Saudi war at over 12,000, including many women and children.

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