Saturday, August 11, 2018

Yemen - The suffering continues...and continues...

Ali al-Absi, a Yemeni political scientist based in Berlin, told DW that while the Saudi-led coalition is not likely targeting children outright, it has a history of striking areas which carry the potential for high numbers of civilian casualties.

"Saudi Arabia regards anything in Yemen as a legitimate target, including schools, markets, infrastructure, weddings and orphanages. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia does not seem interested in sparing civilians the scourge of war," al-Absi said. But the Yemeni scholar noted that atrocities have been committed against children on both sides of the conflict. "Even the Houthis besieged the city of Taiz and targeted civilians and children with sniper fire," he said.

More than 15,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured,  including more than 6,000 children who have been killed or injured since 2015, when Saudi Arabia launched a military offensive against the Houthis.

The US, the UK  and other Western countries have given significant support to the Saudi-led coalition through logistics, intelligence and arms sales, actions which human rights organizations say have further fueled devastation in one of the poorest countries in the world.

"There is no military solution to this conflict," said Save the Children's Kr├╝ger. "Only a political solution can bring the war to an end and reinstate peace in Yemen."

Hady Amr, a former senior diplomat for the Obama administration, told DW that the US "cannot have an effective role in brokering a solution" since it has "clearly taken sides."

"It's one of the worst places to be a child. It's probably safe to say that right now no place is safe for children in Yemen. Until the war finally comes to an end, we will continue to push forward with our humanitarian work and the delivery of humanitarian assistance," said UNICEF's  spokeswoman Juliette Touma.

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