Mohammed’s son was 14 hours old when he died. The doctors told him that his son needed intensive care and oxygen, but there were no hospitals in the city that could provide them. Speaking to Amnesty International in December 2015, Mohammed said that the Saudi airstrikes (coordinated by US and UK) and blockade have choked the country and no vital medical supplies were available.
This was two years back. Today the situation has turned catastrophic- death looms everywhere. Yemen is reeling under the largest humanitarian crisis with millions at the verge of starvation deaths. ,
In Cairo, the Arab League foreign ministers of which Yemen is also a part were scripting a new disaster- how to kill more. People crying for help in Yemen was not on the agenda. Saudi allies were rather looking ways to counter their archenemy Iran and Hezbollah.
The gamble began sometime back with the world’s nicest kidnapping - ‘resignation’ of Lebanese PM Saad Hariri in the Saudi capital Riyadh, and the royal purge of Saudi princes of King Abdullah's lineage. Now, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Sunni majority Kingdom, with his power consolidated plan complete, is eying the Shia majority Iran via Lebanon and Hezbollah.
The massacre and devastation in Yemen were also scripted on the same line- countering Iran. The Houthis, who are predominantly Shias had outset the Yemen’s President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in 2015. The Houthis control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa. Worried about the Shia influence in its backyard, since then Saudi has wrecked havoc in Yemen.
Today, the country sitting at the mouth of Gulf of Aden is destroyed. More than 10,000 people have been killed and the conflict has ruined the economy and pushed millions to the brink of famine. There are shortages of medicine and food supplies because of the Saudis deliberately blockading Yemeni ports, including Hodeida, through which 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports arrive.
In June 2017, the United Nations declared "world’s worst cholera outbreak” in Yemen. There have been more than 8,15,000 suspected cases of the disease and 2,156 deaths. About 4,000 suspected cases are being reported daily, more than half of which were children under 18. According to reports, country’s drinking water supply will completely collapse by 2025 if the crisis looms.
To make matters worse, Saudi aircrafts are in a bombing spree to destroy any standing infrastructure. Despite international outcry, schools and hospitals were specifically targeted by the Saudi forces.
One such incident reported by Save the Children and Watchlist notes:
“The aerial bombing by the Saudi-led coalition of Abs Hospital in Hajjah governorate in August 2016, which the report says killed 19 people and injured 24. At the time of the attack, 23 patients were undergoing surgery, 25 children including 13 newborns were in the paediatric unit.”
The massive Saudi military campaign included indiscriminate airstrikes and blockade in an attempt to choke the nation into submission. And the Saudis are not alone.
The United States and Britain (the former colonel power in Yemen) are party to the brutal this massacre in Yemen. According to experts, billions of American and British taxpayers' money is being poured into the the US-UK-Saudi genocidal campaign in Yemen.
United Arab Emirates Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar (until 2017), Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal, Sudan from the region are backing up the campaign with ground support.
Under the new US administration led by President Donald Trump, the military aid to Saudi government has soared considerably. Despite the growing crisis in Yemen, the al-Monitor reports that the US Department of Defence provided about 4,80,000 gallons of aviation fuel to the mission at a cost of more than $1 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, a 140% increase over the previous year.
The US military's Central Command (CENTCOM) is coordinating the airstrike missions in Yemen. Americans argue that they are only providing broader intelligence data. But according to reports, US Airborne Early Warning and Control systems (AEWCs) are providing vital battlefield informations and target coordinates for the Saudi aircrafts. And the American tanker aircrafts are refuelling the Saudi fighter planes mid-air, extending their range and increasing the devastation in Yemen.
The Saudi bombing on a funeral meeting in Sanaa that killed 140 civilians and highlighted the murky US role in the Yemen War. Multiple bomb fragments at the scene confirmed the use of American-produced MK-82 guided bombs.
A few months later, the British government approved £283m of arms sales to the Saudi kingdom. These include £263m-worth of combat aircraft components to the Saudi air force, and £4m of bombs and missiles, according to data from Campaign Against Arms Trade. In 2015, £1bn worth of bombs and missiles were sent to the country in a single quarter.
It's not only the US military, but the American mercenary groups are also involved in Yemen. Academi, formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide were contracted by Saudis to fight in Yemen. It is one the most notorious ‘private security’ firms in the world and is responsible for killing scores of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen.
The US military aid included the cluster munitions. Due to the danger that they posed to the noncombatants, they were banned by the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a 2008 treaty signed by 116 nations.
Without US and UK support, the Saudi led war crimes in Yemen is not possible. A 2015 news release by US Defence Security Corporation Agency speaking about the $1.29 million worth of arms and ammunitions aid to Saudi Arabia, notes that the:
“…. proposed sale augments Saudi Arabia's capability to meet current and future threats from potential adversaries during combat operations [in Yemen]”
Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a 30-year veteran of the CIA, explained last year that "If the United States and the United Kingdom, tonight, told King Salman [of Saudi Arabia], ‘This war has to end,’ it would end tomorrow. The Royal Saudi Air Force cannot operate without American and British support.”
Like the Saudis, the US's interest in the region is Iran. Termed as part of ‘axis of evil’ by President George W Bush, Iran is the last standing country in the region where the US hasn't been able to put its boots.
In the fight to maintain its regional dominance and counter Iran, the Saudis are committing the act of crimes against humanity in Yemen. America and Britain are both complicit in this war crime aiding and abetting this brutal offensive.
The Special Court for Sierra Leone, a judicial body set up by the government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations in the case of Charles Taylor had noted that ‘providing practical assistance, encouragement or moral support’ for those committing war crimes amounts aiding and abetting war crimes under international law.