US Supports Saudi Arabia in Yemeni Civil War

On Tuesday, UN human rights chief reported that Saudi Arabia was responsible for most civilian deaths in the Yemeni civil war.

In the 9 months that Saudi Arabia has been involved in the civil war, 2,500 civilians have been killed, including over 600 children. This includes the bombing of two Doctors Without Borders hospitals and two weddings.

A medical director for Doctors Without Borders described the situation in Yemen,

“The plane flies over, drops a bomb and goes away — and then comes back. It can stay in the sky for hours, making everyone nervous. All people want is for the plane to empty its deadly cargo and go away so they can continue with their day.”

US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, said in response, [the US will] “continue to urge the Saudi coalition to ensure lawful and discriminate targeting.”

While the Obama administration is willing to criticize the Saudi actions on the floor of the UN, the US has continued to support the Saudi government throughout the war.

The administration has provided the Saudi government with intelligence and  mid-air refueling for its bombers. 

The Pentagon also approved 1.3 billion dollars in weapon sales to the Saudi government. The sales includes over 10,000 bombs that will allow the Saudis to rearm for their war on Yemen.

The US has also supported the Saudi led blockade of Yemen. The blockade is blocking food from entering Yemen. This is critical as Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East and imports 90% of its food. Human rights organizations reports that 21 million Yemeni are facing food shortages.

The blockade has also made it difficult for journalists to enter the country. This has allowed the war to go largely unreported on in the US.

Another growing issue for the US is the rise of ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Yemen. The power vacuum created by the Saudi air war has allowed ISIS and Al-Qaeda to gain ground in Yemen and now control some large cities.

 

 

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