Mint Press News.com By Whitney Webb Wed., May 30, 2018
SANA’A, YEMEN – During a briefing last Friday, the UN warned that millions more Yemeni civilians are expected to starve to death before year’s end as a result of a blockade imposed on the country by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition.
The Saudis’ unsuccessful bid to quash the Houthi-led resistance movement against Western and Saudi imperialism in Yemen has already claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and transformed the country into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis since the war began in 2015.
The UN’s dire warning regarding the situation in Yemen, undoubtedly the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, comes just as the Saudi-led coalition, with support from the United States and the United Kingdom, is preparing for an assault on the key Yemeni port of Hodeidah.
On Monday, a coalition spokesman announced that its forces were within 20 km from the Houthi-held port, which has long been a key coalition target. The UN and other groups have long warned that any assault on Hodeidah would drastically worsen the crisis and greatly increase the number of Yemenis facing starvation.
According to Reuters, tens of thousands of Yemenis have been fleeing the port city in recent days, as fighting in the area intensifies. It remains unclear exactly when coalition forces will attempt to take the city and whether such an operation has been approved by its Western backers, such as the United States, which has continued to supply the coalition with arms and munitions despite its well-documented tendency to target civilian infrastructure.
While the blame for the brunt of the crisis has been placed on the coalition’s blockade on the imports of food, fuel and medicine, the coalition has also deliberately targeted the country’s food production and distribution infrastructure. In just the first year of the conflict, the coalition bombed over 350 farms, markets, and other agricultural infrastructure, which had a grave impact given that only 2.8 percent of Yemen’s land is arable. Fisherman have also been heavily targeted over the course of the conflict, with more than 250 fishing boats damaged or destroyed and 152 killed by coalition ships and helicopters as of last December.
The targeting of the country’s food production infrastructure by the coalition continues unabated. Just last Wednesday, coalition planes bombed a series of mango farms in the Hodeidah province, killing at least six and injuring three – all of whom were engaged in harvesting the fruit at the time, according to local reports.
The fact that the coalition continues to deliberately target civilian infrastructure, particularly its ability to produce food domestically amidst the blockade, suggests that the coalition is intentionally targeting Yemeni civilians in an attempt to gain an upper-hand against the Houthis.
Indeed, despite being significantly better equipped and enjoying the support of Western militaries, the Saudi-led coalition has been unable to make significant progress against the Houthi militia.
…over three years since the war began, suggests that they are deliberately targeting civilians to offset their lack of military progress, adopting a “total war” strategy that is set to end in the genocide of a majority of the nation’s population.
Full article here: https://www.mintpressnews.com/un-10-million-more-yemenis-expected-to-starve-to-death-by-end-of-year/242906/