SAUDI ARABIA might slam a Houthi drone attack on its oil-producing facilities as “terrorist aggression” and find sympathetic echoes in Foreign Office statements from European and Gulf governments.
- Morning Star
It can be confident that Western governments will ape its pretence that the drone assault was some kind of unprovoked outrage, just as they have done with previous Houthi missile attacks.
This is nonsense. No particular sympathy with the Houthi cause is required to acknowledge that the drone attack is part of a war — and a war in which the devastation wrought by Saudi Arabia in its bid to crush Yemen’s Houthi movement is the real outrage.
In four years of brutal aerial bombardment, the Saudi-led coalition has launched more than 18,000 bombing raids over Yemen.
Its war was estimated by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project to have killed 56,000 Yemenis between January 2016 and October 2018, a number that will be far higher a year on.
The United Nations announced last December that Yemen would face the worst humanitarian emergency on Earth in 2019 as a result of the Saudi war and blockade, with 24 million people or 74 per cent of the entire population in need of humanitarian assistance.
Bombing raids have targeted hospitals and blown up infrastructure including water treatment and sanitation facilities and supply pipes. The cholera outbreak that has infected well over a million Yemenis in the last three years and killed well over 2,500, around 60 per cent of whom were children, is described by the executive directors of Unicef and the World Health Organisation as “the direct consequence of two years of heavy conflict.
“Collapsing health, water and sanitation systems have cut off 14.5 million people from regular access to clean water and sanitation, increasing the ability of the disease to spread.
“Rising rates of malnutrition have weakened children’s health and made them more vulnerable to disease.”
The military results of this horrendous onslaught have been negligible. Saudi forces have not displaced the Houthi movement from any significant territory. Yet the conflict continues, Riyadh’s deep pockets ensuring it can continue to drop bombs on its victims indefinitely. …