By Amin Bagheri
The sixth year of the asymmetric conflict in Yemen is underway. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have the logistical and intelligence support and extensive political coverage of the world’s great powers such as the United States, European countries, and even Israel, have not been able to break down Yemen and weaken the state while preventing it from collapsing entirely. Looking at the six-year developments in Yemen, it can be seen that dividing Yemen as the main goal of this invasion has already failed.
On the first days of the war against Yemen in March 2015, the Saudi coalition announced that in the first quarter of the war, all the facilities of the Yemeni armed forces would be destroyed and the complete elimination of Ansarullah would not take more than a few weeks. However, the coalition’s efforts have lasted for several years now, and there is still no clear horizon for the realization of Saudi goals in this war except the violation of the human rights of millions of civilians who did no wrong.
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The humanitarian catastrophe of the war against Yemen
Even before the start of the Saudi aggression, the Yemeni nation was considered one of the poorest nations in the world according to the criteria of international institutions. During the five years of the war of attrition, they suffered many calamities, including famine and infectious diseases, and economic blockade, to the point that the casualties resulting from the continuation of the Saudi war in Yemen far exceeded the casualties of the military. Currently, more than 4,000 patients with kidney failure are affected by these problems due to a lack of access to dialysis centers or the closure of these centers.
Meanwhile, the US-led Western powers are playing a significant role in escalating the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen by imposing sanctions on Ansar al-Islam. According to the Yemeni Minister of Health, the sanctions and siege of Yemen have prevented the repair of medical equipment, and after about six years of war against Yemen and its embargo, 93% of medical equipment has lost its useful life, and all shock devices from It has failed.
The spread of the COVID-19 is also an important factor in the occurrence and spread of the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. The prevalence and death toll of the COVID-19 in Yemen is small compared to other countries in the region, but the global health institutions operating in Yemen have left the country under the pretext of worrying about the outbreak of the COVID-19 and have cut off health aid to Yemen. Furthermore, Hunger and malnutrition have also cast a shadow of death over the Yemeni people.
According to UNICEF in 2019, about 3.2 million Yemeni children and women suffer from acute malnutrition. Statistics show that 14 million Yemenis do not have access to direct health services, and 50% of health centers are closed and the rest do not provide full services due to lack of medicine. Besides, more than 15 million Yemenis do not have access to drinking water, which leads to the spread of many epidemics.
Unequal war of Saudi Arabia and its supporters against the starving nation
The United States and Israel as the two main players in the region have always derived the most benefits from the inflamed and critical atmosphere of the Middle East, prevent Saudi Arabia and the UAE from being condemned in international forums. Besides, the Americans play a logistical and intelligence role in Saudi Arabia, which is why the US House of Representatives is trying to prevent arms exports to Saudi Arabia, while it is facing a veto from President Donald Trump.
The United States, Britain, France, Spain, and Canada continue to be major suppliers of military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the Yemeni war. Despite the high risk of using arms and military equipment exported from France to facilitate the killing of Yemenis, Paris continues to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Contrary to the British Supreme Court’s ruling banning arms sales to the Saudis, London continues its arms and military deals with Riyadh as well.
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A reflection on the nearly six years of war in Yemen shows that in this war, Saudi Arabia and its allies committed war crimes against humanity and the genocide of the Yemeni people. Furthermore, not only the current shortage of basic commodities such as food, water, and fuel, has made it difficult for these oppressed people to survive, but also they are exposed to daily missile and airstrikes by the Saudi coalition, so the most pivotal task now is for international organizations to take the all necessary measures to stop the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
However, the United Nations and international human rights organizations are failed in taking effective action to improve the human rights situation in Yemen or to stop the inhumane acts of the Saudis and their Emirati partners in Yemen. Ultimately, it should be made clear that no attempts to circumvent international human rights law and humanitarian law can be tolerated under international law in certain circumstances such as failing to pay attention to distinguish between civilians and combatants in conflicts.
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