USA, UK still supporting Saudi war on Yemen

This 12 November 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

US & UK Not Truly Committed to Ending Saudi ‘Total War’ on Yemen

While the US and UK have called for a ceasefire in Yemen, Col. Larry Wilkerson says they are not truly committed to ending Saudi Arabia’s “total war” on Yemen. Trump and May are saving face after the Khashoggi killing, and the kingdom is still bombing civilian areas with American and British help.

Saudi Arabia pays UK firms millions to boost image: here.


Stop Saudi war on Yemen

This 9 November 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib & Peace Activist Kathy Kelly Condemn Saudi Cruelty in Yemen

We turn now to the crisis in Yemen, where the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition has drastically escalated its assault on the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah.

The Guardian reports there have been at least 200 airstrikes in the past week, killing at least 150 people. One Saudi airstrike destroyed a home in Hodeidah, killing a father and his five children.

The increased fighting comes as calls grow for a ceasefire to the 3-year war, which has devastated Yemen. On Thursday, a group of Yemeni and international organizations called for “immediate cessation of hostilities” in Yemen, warning that 14 million people were now “on the brink of famine”.

UNICEF has warned that the Saudi assault and blockade on Hodeidah is increasing shortages of food, drinking water and medicine. The group says a Yemeni child now dies from a preventable disease every 10 minutes. …

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration is considering designating the [anti-Saudi invasion Yemeni] Houthis a “terrorist organization”.

We speak to newly elected Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. She took part in Thursday’s protest.

‘Stop British bombs killing Yemeni civilians’

London demonstration against Saudi murder of jounalist Khashoggi and war in Yemen

This photo shows a demonstration outside the Saudi embassy in London, England on October 25th 2019 demanding that the killers of critical Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi be arrested and for the British Conservative government to stop arming the Saudi regime for its war on Yemen.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Thursday, 8 November 2018


STOP British bombs from fuelling the crisis in Yemen, demands Oxfam. The charity warns in a statement: ‘The war in Yemen has been brutal. Since 2015, deadly clashes and airstrikes have killed 3,980, injured over 33,000, and forced 3.1 million to flee their homes.

‘At the same time, food shortages and rising food prices mean that the country stands on the brink of famine. ‘Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes have caused 60% of civilian deaths in the conflict. Meanwhile our government is allowing weapons to be exported from the UK to Saudi Arabia.’

Elsewhere in Hudaydah province, Yemeni forces killed some 25 Saudi-led Sudanese mercenaries in the vicinity of Hudaydah city. Saudi Arabia and its allies have intensified a brutal offensive on Hudaydah – whose port is the country’s only conduit to the outside world under the Saudi-led blockade – killing at least three people and injuring 35 others.

According to Yemen’s al-Masirah television, medical sources said the Saudi airstrikes killed two people and wounded 24 others on the outskirts of the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah on Monday.

Earlier in the day, five inmates at Hudaydah’s central prison were injured as Saudi warplanes launched several air raids on the prison. A girl was also wounded and a mosque was damaged in an artillery attack launched by Saudi-backed mercenaries in the province.

Saudi-backed militants also conducted an attack on a Yemeni factory, leaving a worker dead and five others injured. Al-Masirah released footage showing residential buildings targeted in the district of Hali in Hudaydah on Monday.

The Saudi-led coalition and militia groups loyal to Yemen’s former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, have been pushing over the past several months to capture the city of Hudaydah, which is seen as the main entry point for food imports and aid relief needed by millions in the war-torn country.

The escalating violence in Hudaydah comes despite a call by the United Nations (UN) for the resumption of peace talks and a ceasefire in Yemen.

Officials from the United States – which is itself aiding the Saudi-led coalition in the war on Yemen – have also called for a ceasefire in the country, amid mounting civilian casualties and the creation of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis there. Despite that, the Saudi-led coalition has purportedly sent 10,000 new forces to the Red Sea coast for the new offensive on Hudaydah.

Some observers see the intensified Saudi-led offensive on Hudaydah as an attempt to gain the upper hand in potential talks, especially after a call for a ceasefire by the coalition’s main ally, the US.

Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference in New York City on Monday, the UN secretary-general’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said: ‘Conflict has escalated significantly around Hudaydah City over the weekend, including increased clashes and air strikes as well as artillery shelling.’ He stressed that affected areas are ‘primarily on the southern and eastern outskirts of Hudaydah’.

Dujarric said humanitarian aid had been provided to nearly 570,000 displaced people in Hudaydah since the start of the Saudi-led offensive in the province last June. ‘Since June 1, more than 570,000 people have been displaced by conflict across Hudaydah Governorate; the UN and its humanitarian partners have reached nearly all these people with emergency relief packages,’ he said.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is worsening, with millions of children at risk of starvation and fighting intensifying despite international pressure for a cease-fire in the country’s civil war, according to a senior United Nations official who last week visited the rebel-held port of Hudeidah. Geert Cappelaere, the regional director for UNICEF, says Yemen is a ‘living hell’ for children.

In addition to creating shortages of food and clean water, fighting has caused the breakdown of Yemen’s medical system, including immunisations, leading to fatal outbreaks of measles and diphtheria. ‘The reason is the economic crisis, the devaluation of the rial and the fact that most commodities are not affordable any more for the most vulnerable people’, Cappelaere told NPR on Sunday in Amman, Jordan.

The UN has estimated that up to 14 million Yemenis – roughly half the country’s population – will suffer severe food shortages in the next few months. The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund plans to increase assistance in Yemen, including emergency cash payments to the most vulnerable families, Cappelaere said. Starting in December, it expects to provide monthly payments to 131,000 teachers who have not been paid for two years.

According to the UN, half of Yemeni children under five are chronically malnourished. It says 400,000 children are so malnourished that they will likely die without intervention. Cappelaere, formerly based in Yemen, said that vaccination levels had dropped to 55 per cent of the child population, down from 70 per cent before the war.

He said the front lines of fighting in Hudeidah last week were less than a mile away from Yemen’s largest hospital. …

The Saudi-led coalition launched more airstrikes over the weekend in a bid to take control of Hudeidah. … The United States sells weapons and provides logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition.

The UN Security Council is expected to meet this month to discuss the Yemen conflict.

Saudi war crimes in Yemen continue

This 10 August 2018 video says about itself:

Saudi-led air strike kills 29 children in Yemen – BBC News

At least 29 children have been killed and 30 wounded in a Saudi-led coalition air strike in Yemen, the International Committee of the Red Cross says. The children were travelling on a bus that was hit at a market in Dahyan, in the northern province of Saada.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

The siege of Hodeidah: Washington doubles down on its war crime in Yemen

7 November 2018

One of the bloodiest events in what constitutes the world’s largest ongoing war crime is beginning to unfold in Hodeidah, the Red Sea port that serves as the principal lifeline for food, fuel and medicine upon which at least 70 percent of Yemen’s impoverished and starving population depend for survival.

The Saudi-led coalition that has waged a devastating war against Yemen’s population for the past three and a half years reports that it has mobilized some 30,000 troops to surround the city. These include Emirati and Sudanese regulars, Al Qaeda militiamen and Yemeni mercenaries, all being massed on Hodeidah’s outskirts.

The city is being subjected to non-stop bombardment from both the air and sea, with the aid group Save the Children reporting that its staff counted some 100 airstrikes just over the weekend, a five-fold increase compared to the first week in October.

Among the latest civilian victims of this onslaught are two people killed and 24 wounded in a strike on a residential neighborhood, a worker left dead and five other wounded in the bombing of a Yemeni factory, a young girl wounded in an artillery attack on a mosque and five inmates injured in the bombing of Hodeidah’s central prison.

The bombings have come ever closer to the Al Thawra hospital, the last functioning medical facility treating children on the brink of death from malnutrition. It has made it impossible for those seeking aid to reach the hospital, and there is growing concern that it will be targeted, as have the majority of hospitals and clinics throughout Yemen.

Some 570,000 people in the port of Hodeidah and the surrounding province of the same name have been turned into homeless refugees, often fleeing bombardments and violence with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

That the renewed siege has the blessing of Washington is indisputable. The massing of troops, the naval blockade and the endless bombing would all be impossible without the close collaboration of the Pentagon, which supplies aerial refueling for Saudi bombers, naval support for the stranglehold over access to Hodeidah from the sea and even intelligence assistance for selecting targets in the port city.

Yet the escalation of the siege comes just one week after extensive reports in the US media of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis calling for a “ceasefire” in Yemen and indicating a 30-day deadline for the resumption of peace talks.

Even as the siege of Hodeidah was building, the New York Times published a hypocritical November 5 editorial titled “End Yemen’s Agony”, praising Pompeo and Mattis for having “urged all sides to stop the killing” and proclaiming that “the secretaries have taken a first step.”

Events on the ground make it abundantly clear that this is all nonsense, a cover-up for continuing and intensifying slaughter that is reaching a near-genocidal scale.

Urging “all sides to stop the killing”, as if the US-backed Saudi-led coalition and its victims are equally responsible for the mass murder in Yemen, is designed only to create an alibi for war crimes.

According to the latest estimate by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, some 56,000 Yemenis have died since the US-backed Saudi assault began in 2016. Together with the deaths in the first nine months of the war, the death toll is thought to be between 70,000 and 80,000, the vast majority of them caused by Saudi bombs and missiles.

The deaths caused by hunger and preventable disease, caused by the Saudi blockade of the country and the systematic leveling of water, sewage and other basic infrastructure, is far greater, with an estimated 50,000 victims last year alone.

As many as 14 million people, nearly half the country’s population, are on the brink of starvation, with the siege of Hodeidah and the cutting off of relief supplies threatening to claim the lives of millions.

A close examination of the statements made by Pompeo and Mattis makes clear their real intent. Pompeo’s call for a “ceasefire” read, “the time is now for the cessation of hostilities, including missile and UAV strikes from Houthi-controlled areas into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Subsequently, Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen. [emphasis added]”

In other words, the onus is on the Houthi rebels who control Hodeidah, the capital of Sana’a and the most populated area of the country, to halt missile attacks, none of which have done any significant damage to either Saudi Arabia or the UAE. Only “subsequently”, after this unilateral act of surrender, will US-backed Saudi forces halt air strikes in “populated areas”, presumably continuing them in areas deemed not to be populated.

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Pompeo, asked about his and Mattis’ statements, responded, “Frankly, it’s nothing new”, while claiming that the starvation in Yemen was caused by Iran supplying “weapons and missiles to the Houthi rebels that are fighting there in Saudi Arabia.” Even government lies should make some sense. While Washington has yet to present any credible evidence that Iran is arming the Houthi rebels, the idea that the Houthis are fighting in Saudi Arabia—presumably making them the aggressor—is a fantasy that turns the world on its head.

It is now clear that the supposed 30-day deadline for a Yemen ceasefire was used to telegraph a message to the Saudis to get on with the slaughter and capture Hodeidah as speedily as possible, no matter what the human cost. Should Riyadh need an extension for this massive bloodletting, one will no doubt be forthcoming.

Washington views the mass murder in Yemen through the prism of its attempt to curtail Iran’s influence throughout the Middle East and effect regime change in Tehran. It is no accident that the escalation of the siege of Hodeidah coincides with the imposition of punishing unilateral and illegal US sanctions against Iran that are tantamount to an act of war. Saudi Arabia is seen as the linchpin of imperialist reaction in the Middle East, the key ally in the conflict with Iran and the source of billions of dollars in profits for US arms manufacturers. To preserve these interests, Washington is prepared to see millions die.

In the wake of the grisly October 2 political murder of journalist and former Riyadh insider Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the US media, which had largely blacked out the mass killing in Yemen, provided a brief spurt of coverage as it appeared that it might be useful in Washington’s attempts to use the crisis over this political murder as leverage in securing a more advantageous relationship with the House of Saud.

A month later, coverage of both the Khashoggi assassination and the slaughter in Yemen has largely abated, suggesting that some kind of accommodation has been reached between Washington and Riyadh. For most of the population of the United States, news of the siege of Hodeidah, in which the American military is a full partner, is blacked out.

Moreover, in the midst of the supposedly decisive midterm election, no candidate of either of the two big business parties has chosen to make Washington’s indispensable support for the mass murder of Yemeni men, women and children an issue in the campaign. And for good reason. Both major parties are fully implicated in this war crime, with all the instruments of support for the Saudi-led war—midair refueling, intelligence sharing, targeting assistance, support for the naval blockade and massive US arms sales— having been implemented under the Democratic Obama administration and continued and deepened under the Republican administration of Trump.

Whatever tactical differences exist between Democrats and Republicans over the issues of Yemen and the steadily escalating confrontation with Iran, both capitalist parties are committed to a policy of imposing unchallenged US hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East, a policy that is claiming Yemeni lives as “collateral damage” on an unspeakably horrific scale.

Even Saudi prince criticizes Yemen war

This 5 May 2015 video from the USA says about itself:

Human Rights Watch is accusing the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of dropping banned cluster bombs manufactured and supplied by the U.S. on civilian areas in Yemen. Cluster bombs contain dozens or even hundreds of smaller munitions designed to fan out over a wide area, often the size of a football field. They are banned under a 2008 treaty for the high civilian toll they can cause. The treaty was adopted by 116 countries — although not by Saudi Arabia, Yemen or the United States. According to Human Rights Watch, the U.S.-supplied cluster bombs have landed near rebel-held villages in northern Yemen, putting residents in danger.

We are joined by Stephen Goose, director of Human Rights Watch’s Arms Division and chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition, and Belkis Wille, Yemen and Kuwait researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Again bombs on Yemen, even criticism from within Saudi Arabia

Even within the Saudi royal family there is the first criticism of the Yemen war, says correspondent Marcel van der Steen … “A brother of the king, Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, has said that not the whole royal family is responsible for the war, pointing to crown prince Bin Salman.” Bin Salman is the actual ruler of the country.

The open finger-pointing indicates a power struggle within the Saudi royal family. “It is a shift that Bin Salman‘s policy is criticized, and it does show that not everyone backs the war in Yemen.” …

7-year-old symbol of hunger dies

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is alarming. According to UNICEF, a child dies every ten minutes due to hunger or illness. 1.8 million children are malnourished, 400,000 of which are so severe that it is life-threatening. There is a threat of famine for millions of people, the UN warns.

The 7-year-old Amal Hussain is seen as a symbol for the poignant situation. A photo of the emaciated girl was in The New York Times. “She died in a refugee camp yesterday”, reported the correspondent today.

“She had to leave the hospital because new patients came in. But the family did not have the money to go to the new hospital, 24 kilometers away, so the 7-year-old girl did not make it.”

Stop Saudi war on Yemen, Dutch religious groups say

This 29 October 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Saudi Atrocities: America Has Blood On Its Hands

TYT’s Eric Byler spoke with Medea Benjamin, co-founder of anti-war activist group Code Pink, about the weapons deals between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia that magnify the death toll in Yemen, and human rights abuses against the Saudi people.

Various Dutch religious and philosophical groups have called on the Dutch government to help to stop the war in Yemen.

The groups include the National Council of Churches, the orthodox Jewish community, the Muslim board for contacts with the government, the Buddhist Union, the Hindu Council and the Humanist Union.

According to Dutch NOS TV, 1 November 2018 (translated):

They also want that “creating famine as a weapon of war should stop” and that a “safe humanitarian corridor should be created for the supply of food and medicine to the hungry Yemeni people“, as stated in UN resolution 2417 (2018).

Reform rabbi Awraham Soetendorp took the initiative for this letter to the government.

See also here.