Sana’a (GPA) – According to a spokesman from the Yemeni Ministry of Health, over 55,000 Yemenis are currently infected with cholera and 500 have already lost their lives. A state of emergency has been declared. Hospitals don’t have room to care for the extreme influx of patients and the Saudi blockade makes it nearly impossible for medicine to reach the victims.
Cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial disease caused by drinking infected water. It’s no surprise that clean water might be hard to come by in a war zone. So it would be easy to write-off the current epidemic Yemen faces as a simple side effect of war. But considering the lack of media coverage, could the Saudi coalition be using this assumption and ignorance to their advantage? Is there more to this story than meets the eye?
Given the sheer ruthlessness of the U.S.-backed Saudi aggression and invasion of Yemen, certainly anything is possible. Saudi Arabia has already come under fire multiple times from several mainstream human rights organizations for their use of internationally-banned cluster bombs. The kingdom has also used the U.S.-supplied chemical white phosphorous on civilian areas which also violates international law. Not to mention their indiscriminate bombing campaign which very obviously targets civilian infrastructure and kills non-combatants on a daily basis.
Starving Yemen Into Submission
In addition to blatant and direct violence, the Saudis are also clearly trying to starve resistance-held areas of Yemen into submission. 80 percent of Yemen’s food is imported and the Saudi-coalition has imposed an air and sea blockade against the already poorest country in the Arab world. Now they are attempting to retake key port cities millions of Yemenis rely on for food and medical supplies. Their intentions are clear when one takes into account that farms and agricultural areas are also frequent targets for Saudi air strikes.
Any aid (food, medical, or otherwise) from international NGOs must first pass through the Saudi-supported improvised “capital” set up in Aden since Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a is currently under resistance control. Needless to say, the Saudi-backed government in Aden isn’t exactly eager to distribute vital aid to their very enemies. As a result, the resistance coalition aka Ansarullah has condemned the UN’s exponential failure and uselessness to help the people in Yemen who need it most.
The Saudi-led and U.S.-supported coalition against Yemen can only be described as terrorism and at this point it’s bordering on outright genocide. Genocide is a strong word, but it’s hard not to at least consider the term when the Saudis are carrying out deliberate acts of war against Yemen’s Zaydi Shia civilian population and even other Shia areas within Saudi borders.
Cholera as a Biological Weapon
So given what we know about the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, it wouldn’t be so outrageous to at least suspect that this current cholera outbreak holds malicious intent. Especially when you take the current figure into consideration: 55,000 infected. They have no issue using chemical weapons, and banned munitions, or bombing civilian areas. And with the weight of the world’s most powerful army backing them and offering full support (the United States of course) why wouldn’t they resort to biological warfare as well? Who would stop them?
Cholera and other infectious diseases have a long history of research and development as biological weapons; mostly during the second World War. Biological weapons like cholera, anthrax, and the bubonic plague are internationally banned for obvious reasons and world powers like the United States claim to have halted their bio weapon programs. But has that ever stopped them before? Plus this doesn’t necessarily mean stockpiles have been destroyed. Surely the United States wouldn’t destroy their biological weapon supplies if they thought Russia might be able to one-up them in this respect.
As Yemenis weather airstrikes and the Saudi-backed forces continue to lose on the ground to the well organized and powerful Ansarullah resistance, why wouldn’t they resort to using biological weapons? Illness would cause hospitals to overflow with patients; fighters and civilians alike would be subdued. Medicine wouldn’t be available. Which would be the perfect opportunity for a Saudi-led offensive on resistance-held areas.
Indeed, when looking at the bigger picture and taking everything the Saudis already do blatantly and openly into consideration, using biological weapons not only seems very possible but also very logical.
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Founder and editor of Geopolitics Alert, Randi Nord is a US-based geopolitical analyst and content strategist. She covers US imperialism with a special focus on Yemen, Iran, and Lebanon. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she started learning about the media’s pivotal role in selling “humanitarian” interventions as a teenager during the aftermath of 9/11 and Iraq war. Randi Nord has lived in the Empire’s neoliberal tropical paradise (Kingdom of Hawai’i) and Lebanon. She frequently participates in the UN Human Rights Council as a guest of NGOs speaking about Yemen.