Sana’a (GPA) – Riyadh continued their devastating airstrikes against Yemen over the weekend showering virtually all Yemeni provinces with bombs, killing civilians, and destroying vital infrastructure.
On Saturday, 41 air raids struck various areas including Taiz, Midi, Sana’a, Saada, and more. The targets included several homes, farms, and water pumps. Five civilians died and four more injured when bombs struck a house in Taiz. Air strikes particularly targeted Saada where another two civilians died while trying to flee.
On Sunday, the strikes picked right back up targeting the Yam Mountain range in Marib with a substantial amount of bombs: 14. 16 attacks hit Midi in the early hours, and additional strikes continued throughout Taiz, Saada, and other provinces throughout the rest of the day. This set of attacks also targeted homes, but the number of casualties is not currently available. At the time of writing this, the bombing has yet to cease.
As per usual, western media remained silent regarding these massacres instead choosing to report on the Saudi perspective:
CNN decided to cover the increased U.S. airstrikes in Yemen. Despite the headline describing the dead as “ISIS” militants, this cannot be confirmed by local sources. In fact, ISIS doesn’t have much of a presence in Yemen. It seems as though the Islamic State threat has been merely co-opted (again) by the United States to justify a military existence in the country. This also helps distract from the fact that al-Qaeda is a defacto Saudi-U.S. ally in Yemen who likely receives considerable Saudi support for fighting Ansarullah (aka the Houthis).
The Saudi-led war against Yemen has killed over ten thousand civilians just from air strikes and military operations alone. Tens of thousands more have died as a result of the ongoing Saudi-imposed siege and blockade which has turned northern Yemen into an open-air prison restricting food, medical supplies, aid, and all other essential goods.
The restricted flow of imports has put seven million at risk of famine and triggered a globally unprecedented cholera outbreak which claims civilian lives each day. Nearly 3,000 have died since the outbreak began in April and over 1 million are expected to become infected with this preventable and treatable disease by the end of the year.
On a positive (yet cautious) note, UN representatives met in Sana’a over the weekend. Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lokoc was shocked and appalled by the humanitarian situation and cholera outbreak. Local authorities briefed Lokoc on the deteriorating situation and drastic need to lift the siege. Lokoc left Yemen calling on international bodies to help open the Sana’a airport for commercial and humanitarian travel and deliver state employee salaries (which have been closed and restricted due to the blockade).
Unfortunately, this is a tune Yemenis have heard many times before. Whether or not the international community will deliver on these promises, encourage a peace process, or take any tangible steps to improve the situation is another story.