While the deteriorating situation in Syria, especially in the city of Aleppo, grabs world attention, the west has almost forgotten the conflict in Syria. If you want news about the war in Yemen, you almost have to get it from Arab news sources such as al-Jazeera, although some news is available from major western news sites such as the BBC, the Washington Post, and the Guardian.
Children are dying of malnutrition, and the Saudi Arabian military continues to bomb civilians, largely using weapons acquired from the United States. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) say that three million people in Yemen need food immediately including 1.5 million children, who are going hungry and 370,000 whose malnutrition is so severe that it is weakening their immune systems. Few people in Europe or North America are aware of this.
It is difficult to ship food to starving people in Yemen, because the coalition led by Saudi Arabi, which supports the country’s president against the Houthi rebels, has blockaded the country’s ports. The coalition is will to cause mass death among the civilian population in order to support the government against those who would overthrow it.
Even in areas where there is no fighting, there is a shortage of money to buy food due to the dysfunction of the central bank. Some suspect the bank is withholding funds to keep them from making their way to the Houthi rebels, but the effect is to deprive even job-holders of the wages they need to feed their families. The bank has been moved from capital of Sanaa, which is has been taken over by the rebels, to Aden, the provisional capital, which is under government control.
Malnutrition is not the only cause of death among civilians including children. The Saudi-led coalition is bombing civilian areas, just as the Russians and Syrian government are doing in Syria.
The United States does not have the ability to stop either of these tragic civil wars without risking going to war against Russia over Syria or our supposed ally Saudi Arabia over Yemen. However, the West should be aware that there is more than one area in the Middle East where a heavily-armed modern air force is bombing innocent civilians.