INTL CONFLICTSMIDDLE EASTOPINION

Yemen: Blame game continues amid growing humanitarian crisis

Four years of war – between Iranian Regime backed Houthi militants and Arab coalition backed Yemeni government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi – has costed thousands of lives, including civilians, and has pushed millions towards famine. It is believed to be one of the three worst humanitarian crisis in the world besides the crisis in Syria and the Rohingya crisis.

According to almost all experts on international affairs, the Western countries’ support to the Arab coalition members and the Iranian Regime’s supply of weapons, including missiles, to the Houthi militants are the major reasons behind prolonging of the war.

Since the warring sides have been receiving the necessary resources they need to carry out the war, there’s no scarcity of resources (particularly military resources) and, hence, there’s no sign of end to the conflict.

After four years of war, many wonder what actually caused the parties to enter into a conflict that both sides are now finding hard to end.

A hostile occupation of Yemen’s capital Sanaa by the Houthi militants had actually prompted the war. The Houthis, without any mandate from the Yemeni people, occupied Sanaa in 2014, pushing the Yemeni President and government to ask for support from Arab allies, including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Since then, the situation has been constantly becoming worse. Here are some alarming factors that depict the direness of the conflict today:

  • It has become impossible for the population to access the most basic services to feed themselves, avoid diseases and protect the most vulnerable.
  • Around 80 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.
  • Hundreds of thousand of people are becoming victims of Cholera, and many are dying from the outbreak.
  • Hundred of thousands of pregnant women suffer from malnutrition.
  • Millions of children do not have access to regular education.

With the Iranian Regime’s supply of weapons, including missiles, Houthi militants have been killing not only the innocent Yemenis, but they have also been killing many innocent residents of bordering areas in Saudi Arabia.

Houthis seem careless in choosing their targets, as they have been using missiles and drones to attack airports, which generally remain crowded with civilians, including women and children.

For instance, when Houthis attacked the Abha international airport in July 2, nine (09) civilians were injured. This was not the first attack on this airport. Previously, Houthi militants have attacked the airport several times, killing one person and wounding dozens.

Houthi militants’ repeated aggression have been repeatedly provoking the Arab Coalition to launch airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen. There were reports that in some occasions, the causally of these Arab Coalition airstrikes included civilians too, as the Houthi militants have been allegedly using the civilians as human shield when these airstrikes took place.

In the meantime, the media outlets, including some top global newspapers and TV networks, are publishing and broadcasting news in a way that suits their bias.

University Network for Human Rights (UNHR), Yemen’s ‘so-called’ monitoring group named Mwatana, Aljazeera as well as some European broadcasters appear to put the blame squarely on Mansur Hadi government and its Arab coalition partners, while the other Arab media outlets put the blame primarily on Houthis and Iranian Regime, the major backer of the Houthi militancy.

This article was originally published on Oped Column Syndication.

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Syafruddin Arsyad

Syafruddin Arsyad is an independent researcher focusing on the latest current affairs in the Middle East and their impacts on other regions of the world, including Southeast Asia. His opinion pieces have been published on Daily Times, Eurasia Review, Modern Diplomacy and Ekurd Daily

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