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Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made
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  1. #1
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    Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made (OP)


    Salaam

    Another update on the situation in Yemen

    Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made!

    Yemen is a country that has been ravaged by war and is on the brink of famine. Two years of horrific conflict has killed more than 10,000 people, wounded 45,000 others, and displaced more than 11 percent of the country’s 26 million people.

    Yemen is now facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world, according to international health authorities.

    The outbreak has surpassed 200,000 cases, and that number is growing by 5,000 a day.

    “In just two months, cholera has spread to almost every (part) of this war-torn country”, said World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake in a joint statement.

    More than 1,300 people have already died — one quarter of them children and the death toll is expected to rise.

    Cholera is caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. If left untreated, it can cause severe dehydration and eventual death.

    Cholera is preventable and easily treatable with the proper resources, said Kurt Tjossem, the International Rescue Committee’s regional director for East Africa and the Horn. In Yemen, however, the collapsing infrastructure has cut off an estimated 14.5 million people — about half the country’s population from regular access to clean water, increasing the likelihood for the disease to spread.

    The crisis is “man-made,” said Stephen O’Brien, the U.N. under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, in a statement last week. For the past two years, Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war between Houthi rebels from the north of the country and a coalition of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia and supported by the United States.

    “The cholera epidemic is in part due to the bombing of the water supply in Sana’a”, Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn said. “There is a U.S. imprint on every civilian death inside Yemen.”

    The problem in Yemen is even worse considering the ever-widening issue of food insecurity and malnutrition, where 2.2 million children suffer from acute malnutrition.

    When malnutrition rises, the immunity of children falls, which makes them more susceptible to diseases like cholera.

    Yemen’s economy is crumbling and health care workers continue to work without any pay. According to UNICEF and WHO, an estimated 30,000 local health workers have not been paid their salaries for nearly 10 months.

    Almost half the country’s medical facilities have been destroyed. A Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes from the combined effects of hunger and lack of medical facilities.

    Yemen has been torn to pieces. The war which is Saudi led and driven by the US ambitions, has left millions of people at the mercy of deadly diseases like Cholera. Poverty has cursed the population where mothers hold their dying children helpless, not knowing where their next portion of food and water will come from.

    Saudi led forces have targeted farms, food facilities, water infrastructure, marketplaces, and even the port of Hudaidah, where most of the humanitarian aid was entering the country. Further crimes include of the Saud is the bombing of a funeral procession in October 2016 that resulted in 150 causalities.

    However Trump clinched an enormous $110bn deal during his trip to the kingdom in May, which will be used to bomb and murder more people in Yemen. The Saud family promised Trump that their military would undergo rigorous US training to reduce civilian casualties, signing a $750m training program.

    The treacherous royal family went further still and agreed that US advisers would sit in their air operations control centre.

    It is a damning indictment on the Saudi Kingdom that it has inflicted terrible pain on the Muslims of Yemen and then boasts to the Muslim world that they are the ‘Custodians of the Two Holy Mosques’. The Saud regime are only Custodians to America. Treachery is in their bloodstream and programmed in their DNA, from the days when Ibn Saud was handed Makkah and Medinah by British colonial forces. Just like the Saud family obeyed Britain in the past, they now obey in servitude the USA.

    There is only one solution to Yemen and that is to challenge the colonial agenda of the West in that land via the reestablishment of the Khilafah Rashidah.

    Since the destruction of the Khilafah, the entire Arab world has been plagued with rulers that are the most evil and deceitful in Islamic history. These rulers support the bombing of Muslim countries like Yemen and pay no heed to the spread of diseases like Cholera, that cause terrible suffering to the people. Only when the rulers of the Arab world are removed and the Ummah has a just leader that applies the Ruling of Allah, will all people gain protection from the malicious design of brutal vultures.

    http://www.hizb.org.uk/news-comment/yemen-cholera-epidemic-us-saudi-made/

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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

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    Salaam

    Another update


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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Another update

    Yemen's Houthi rebels fire ballistic missile at Saudi capital

    Saudi air defences intercept missile fired at Riyadh, videos published on social media purportedly show.


    Yemen's Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, saying the projectile traveled more than 800km into the kingdom on Wednesday.

    Al Masirah, a TV network run by the Houthis, claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter, saying the rebels fired a Burkan 2-H, a Scud-type missile, towards the Saudi defence ministry.

    Videos published on social media showed clouds of smoke in the sky above the capital.

    Sharaf Lokman, a spokesman for the Houthis, said the attack came after Saleh al-Samad - president of the Supreme Political Council that runs Yemen's capital, Sanaa, and other rebel-held areas - declared the start of "a year of ballistic missiles".



    Al Masirah also reported the Houthis fired missiles at oil storage facilities belonging to Saudi oil giant Aramco in the provinces of Najran and Jizan.

    Meanwhile, the Saudi coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen said its air defences shot down two unmanned drones in the south of the country.

    The Houthis said they targeted southern areas of Saudi Arabia with Qasif-1 drones.

    The kingdom accuses Iran of supplying missile parts and expertise to the Houthis. Tehran and the Houthis have repeatedly denied the allegations.

    According to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), the Qasif-1 drone is said to resemble Iran's Ababil-2 drone and is the latest in a line of weapons Tehran has allegedly sent the Houthis.

    Despite its relatively simple technology, the Qasif-1 carries a 30kg warhead and has allowed the Houthis to target vessels in the strategic Bab Al Mandeb Strait.

    The war in Yemen, the region's poorest country, started in 2014 after Houthi rebels seized control of the capital and began pushing south towards the country's third-biggest city Aden.

    Concerned by the rise of the Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states launched a military intervention in 2015 in the form of a massive air campaign aimed at reinstalling the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

    Since then, more than 10,000 people have been killed and at least 40,000 wounded, mostly from Saudi-led air strikes.

    In retaliation, the Houthis have launched dozens of missiles at the kingdom. Saudi authorities say over the past three years 90 ballistic missiles were fired by the rebels.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/yemen-houthi-rebels-fire-ballistic-missile-saudi-capital-180411153418562.html

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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Another update

    Yemen: At least 20 killed in Saudi-led Coalition Airstrikes on Wedding


    At least 20 wedding attendees were killed in Saudi-led airstrikes on Hajjah, Northwest Yemen, on Sunday night. According to witnesses, the wedding party was targeted in separate strikes, several minutes apart,[1] resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries. Sources report that the majority of victims were woman and children, and that the bride was amongst those killed.[2]

    The Health ministry spokesman said that there were delays in treating the wounded as ambulances could not reach the site out of fear of further strikes, as jets continued to fly overhead. The head of the local hospital, Al Jumhouri, told Reuters that his hospital eventually received over 40 bodies torn to pieces and that amongst the 46 injured seen so far, 30 were children.[3] Unverified footage showed a young boy desperately clinging on to his father’s dead body and refusing to let go as medics ran to assist.[4]

    Saudi coalition spokesman, Colonel Turki al Makki, said they would be investigating the reports and not making further comments at this stage.[5]

    A separate attack in Taiba killed a family of four on the same night,[6] while a bus was targeted by airstrikes on Saturday, killing 20 commuters.[7] According to the Yemen Data Project, one in three of the 16,847 coalition airstrikes since 2015 have hit non-military targets, including hospitals, schools and shops.[8] Indeed, it is not the first time that weddings have been bombed in air raids; 174 wedding attendees died within 2 months in 2015, although the coalition denied involvement at the time.[9]

    The civilian deaths are the latest in the ongoing civil war in Yemen in which over 10,000 have been killed since it began 3 years ago. According to a recent UN report, the Saudi-led coalition is said to be responsible for 61% of all civilian deaths, whilst indiscriminate shelling by Houthi rebels accounts for the rest.[10] There have been recent attempts by Houthi rebels to target Saudi Arabia, although their missiles have all been successfully intercepted.[11]

    In a separate set of incidents, Al Jazeera reported that several Muslim scholars have been assassinated in Southern Yemen recently, particularly within the last 6 months. The report suggests that many of the clerics were linked to the Islāh Party, the Yemeni branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Elisabeth Kendall, a research fellow at Oxford University, said:

    “It is not clear who is doing the targeting, although there are widely-held beliefs on the ground that think it is being done by the UAE-backed forces”.[12]

    Over 22 million face starvation as a result of the ongoing conflict, prolonged and exacerbated by the involvement of regional powers seeking their own interests at the expense of the civilian population.[13]

    https://www.islam21c.com/news-views/yemen-at-least-20-killed-in-saudi-led-coalition-airstrikes-on-wedding/

  6. #44
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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Killing the civilians is cruelty
    1 | Likes Junon liked this post

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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Are these the “killings upon killings” as prophicied in the akhirul zaman hadith ?

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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    More bad news

    What's behind increased killings of Muslim clerics in Yemen?

    Killings of preachers and religious scholars in the south of the country, focus attention on a new layer of complexity developing in Yemen's civil war.

    At least 25 Muslim clerics have been murdered in southern Yemen in the past two years.

    Most of those killed are said to be supporters of the President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his allies.

    It points to growing rivalries between UAE-backed armed groups and Hadi's forces in the south.

    Al Jazeera's Mereana Hond reports.



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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Another update


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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Another update from wikileaks


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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Missed this

    MbS slapped with lawsuit during trip to France

    A lawyer representing a Yemeni human rights group has filed a lawsuit in a French court against crown prince and de facto Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman.

    Joseph Breham is suing bin Salman - who is currently in France as part of a three-day official trip - for his role in launching Saudi Arabia's now three-year-old campaign of airstrikes in Yemen against the Iran-backed Houthis.

    The lawsuit claims that bin Salman, who also serves as defence minister, knowingly targeted civilians.

    At least 10,000 people have died since Saudi Arabia began airstrikes in March 2015. There are also up to one million suspected cholera cases in the country, which the UN has dubbed the "world's worst humanitarian disaster".

    Breham, representing the Legal Center for Rights and Development, told AP that France has the jurisdiction to investigate the case as it was filed while bin Salman is on French soil. But he acknowledged that diplomatic immunity bars the crown prince from arrest.

    Speaking to reporters in Paris on Tuesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir called the lawsuit "ridiculous".

    Yesterday, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri tweeted a photo with bin Salman and Morocco's King Mohamed VI in a suprise meeting in the country.

    The Saudi crown prince will conclude his visit to France with further discussions with President Emmanuel Macron ahead of a gala dinner at the Elysee Palace.

    Much of the prince's visit has focused on deepening cultural ties with France, with Saudi officials drawing on the country's expertise to set up a national opera and orchestra.

    But activists have mobilised to keep attention focused on French weapons exports to Saudi Arabia and rights abuses in the kingdom.

    Three out of four French people believe it is "unacceptable" for France, the world's third largest arms exporters, to continue selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, according to a YouGov poll.

    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/4/10/mbs-slapped-with-lawsuit-during-trip-to-france

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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Another update

    (US) Army Special Forces Secretly Help Saudis Combat Threat From Yemen Rebels

    WASHINGTON — For years, the American military has sought to distance itself from a brutal civil war in Yemen, where Saudi-led forces are battling rebels who pose no direct threat to the United States.

    But late last year, a team of about a dozen Green Berets arrived on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, in a continuing escalation of America’s secret wars.

    With virtually no public discussion or debate, the Army commandos are helping locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launch sites that Houthi rebels in Yemen are using to attack Riyadh and other Saudi cities.

    Details of the Green Beret operation, which has not been previously disclosed, were provided to The New York Times by United States officials and European diplomats.

    They appear to contradict Pentagon statements that American military assistance to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen is limited to aircraft refueling, logistics and general intelligence sharing.

    There is no indication that the American commandos have crossed into Yemen as part of the secretive mission.

    But sending American ground forces to the border is a marked escalation of Western assistance to target Houthi fighters who are deep in Yemen.

    Beyond its years as a base for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen has been convulsed by civil strife since 2014, when the Shiite Muslim rebels from the country’s north stormed the capital, Sana. The Houthis, who are aligned with Iran, ousted the government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the Americans’ main counterterrorism partner in Yemen.

    In 2015, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia began bombing the Houthis, who have responded by firing missiles into the kingdom. Yet there is no evidence that the Houthis directly threaten the United States; they are an unsophisticated militant group with no operations outside Yemen and have not been classified by the American government as a terrorist group.

    The Green Berets, the Army’s Special Forces, deployed to the border in December, weeks after a ballistic missile fired from Yemen sailed close to Riyadh, the Saudi capital. The Saudi military said it intercepted the missile over the city’s international airport — a claim that was cast in doubt by an analysis of photos and videos of the strike. But it was enough for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to renew a longstanding request that the United States send troops to help the kingdom combat the Houthi threat.

    A half-dozen officials — from the United States military, the Trump administration, and European and Arab nations — said the American commandos are training Saudi ground troops to secure their border. They also are working closely with American intelligence analysts in Najran, a city in southern Saudi Arabia that has been repeatedly attacked with rockets, to help locate Houthi missile sites within Yemen.

    Along the porous border, the Americans are working with surveillance planes that can gather electronic signals to track the Houthi weapons and their launch sites, according to the officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the mission publicly.

    During a meeting on Capitol Hill in March, senators pressed Pentagon officials about the military’s role in the Saudi-led conflict, demanding to know whether American troops were at risk of entering into hostilities against the Houthis.

    Pentagon officials told the senators what had already been said publicly: that American forces stationed in Saudi Arabia only advised within the kingdom’s borders and were focused mostly on border defense.

    “We are authorized to help the Saudis defend their border,” Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the head of United States Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 13. “We are doing that through intelligence sharing, through logistics support and through military advice that we provide to them.”

    On April 17, Robert S. Karem, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States had about 50 military personnel in Saudi Arabia, “largely helping on the ballistic missile threat.”

    The Green Berets have stepped in to deal with an increasingly difficult problem for the Saudi military. Their presence is the latest example of the expanding relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia under President Trump and Prince Mohammed.

    Mr. Trump’s first overseas trip after taking office was to Riyadh, nearly one year ago. By contrast, President Barack Obama regularly criticized Saudi Arabia for civilian casualties inflicted by its bombing campaign in Yemen, and blocked arms sales to the kingdom.

    In March, as Prince Mohammed met with Mr. Trump and top national security officials in Washington, the State Department approved the sale of an estimated $670 million in anti-tank missiles in an arms package that also included spare parts for American-made tanks and helicopters that Saudi Arabia previously purchased.

    “Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy nation, and they’re going to give the United States some of that wealth hopefully, in the form of jobs, in the form of the purchase of the finest military equipment anywhere in the world,” Mr. Trump said at the time.

    rest here

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/03/us/politics/green-berets-saudi-yemen-border-houthi.html

  15. #51
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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Another update


  16. #52
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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    This is related, gives background on US drone policy.

    Blurb


    This story is hard to believe, but it is true. US presidents are ordering the assassination of American citizens, including children, without due process.



    This story is hard to believe
    Its not I'm afraid, given the history

    Glad I discovered this guy, well worth listening to.
    Last edited by Junon; 05-09-2018 at 10:11 PM.

  17. #53
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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Turf wars between the Saudis and the Emiratis in Yemen.

    Blurb

    The UAE is Winning the War In Yemen. Their "ally" Saudi Arabia is not. This vid explains what's really going on in Yemen.




    Blurb

    More than a dozen soldiers from Saudi Arabia have been killed in Yemen during operations along the border. This brings the total number of Saudi casualties since 2015 to over 1,000, according to state media. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is worsening as the war prevents much-needed aid from reaching many Yemenis. The UN estimates that 22 million Yemenis are in need of food aid and more than eight million are threatened by severe hunger.



    US wants to get more 'involved'


  18. #54
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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Another update

    The battle for Hudaida: Saudis plan to pull the plug on Yemen's life support

    The British government should stop cosying up to the Saudis and deter a possible attack on key port




    If the initial blockade of humanitarian aid to Yemen wasn't enough to push the Houthi rebels there into submission, starving the civilian population through the destruction of Hudaida port won't force surrender either.

    The harsh reality is that the Houthi rebels do not represent the millions of Yemenis starved by the famine, and therefore will not end the war with the Saudi-led coalition if the famine is furthered by the destruction of the Red Sea port, which is responsible for bringing over 80 percent of humanitarian aid into Yemen.

    In typical Conservative government fashion, the British government is shying away from confronting Saudi Arabia over a possible attack on Hudaida, even though it is widely accepted by the international community that any attack on the port would cut off food and medical supplies to millions of innocent civilians.

    While the United Nations can be as vocal as possible, major powers are still unwilling to explicitly oppose the potential Saudi offensive, leaving the United Nations Security Council limited in its ability to deter an attack.

    The threat of starving civilians through an attack on the Houthi stronghold in Hudaida will not only do nothing to win the hearts and minds of Yemenis who are politically neutral, but is likely to put civilians who live in places previously considered largely safe at risk.

    Worst humanitarian disaster


    UN figures suggest over 100 people have already been killed in the battle for the port of Hudaida, but the escalation of this aspect of the conflict bares larger consequences as 200,000 people are said to be at risk of being displaced, alongside the threat of 8.4 million people being affected by the famine if food supplies are suddenly cut off.

    Without a negotiated settlement, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen is paving the way for the largest humanitarian disaster of the 21st century. However, this would not be possible if the international community had intervened with action, through the UN, and not just empty rhetoric.

    If we are serious about bringing about an end to this conflict, the priority of those in the international community that currently sell arms to the Saudis should be to suspend their arms export licenses immediately.

    A catalogue of errors

    In fact, British Prime Minister Theresa May's misleading suggestion that the war in Yemen had UN backing through Resolution 2216, which called for an end to the violence in Yemen, was somehow a tacit acceptance of a Saudi bombardment of the country until the Houthis capitulated. This is not only irresponsible but also legitimises a campaign that has deliberately targeted civilians.

    Welcoming the Saudi leaders who are responsible for much of the military campaign to Downing Street only adds to the catalogue of foreign policy errors that the British government has been involved in during the conflict.

    In the face of a war of attrition in Yemen, there will only be one outcome. With the economic and military strength of the Saudi regime, the Houthis will eventually collapse.

    But the fact that the Saudi-led coalition is more than willing to pull the plug on Yemen's life support, in a blatant show of contempt for international law, will be a huge blow to the perceived authority of the United Nations in the Middle East, where its unique powers of neutrality-based action is currently needed the most.

    The Labour Party has already committed to a complete suspension of British arms sales to the Saudis should it get into government. However, this policy would apply to any military that is flouting international law with British weapons. A comprehensive review of arms sales across the world is the only way to bring about real arms control and to protect international stability.

    Labour would build a Britain that prides itself once again on its humanitarian approach to foreign policy. British foreign policy has been historically defined as one that is concerned with human welfare, based on international law. Make no mistake, there is no justification for obstructing aid into Yemen, and if cosying up to the Saudis fails to deter a further incursion,

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/yemen-war-saudis-are-paving-way-largest-humanitarian-disaster-21-century-266834381

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  20. #55
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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made


  21. #56
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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Another update

    Saudi-UAE led forces 'capture' Yemen's Hudaida airport

    Yemeni military announce capture of airport from Houthi rebels, as UN special adviser warns of risk of famine.


    Forces from a Saudi and Emirati led coalition have captured the airport in Yemen's port city of Hudaida, military officials announced on Twitter.

    In a post on Saturday, an account associated with the Saudi-alligned Yemeni military said the airport had been "freed from the grip of the Houthi militia" and that de-mining operations were ongoing.

    Hudaida airport is located just to the south of the city-proper with heavy fighting still ongoing on Hudaida's southern edges.

    Houthi sources have not yet confirmed their loss of the airport.

    Heavy fighting has left at least 39 people dead as of Thursday, including 30 Hourthi rebels, and nine pro-government troops.

    Rebels have instructed civilians to move away from the outskirts of the city and towards the city centre.

    Hudaida is home to about 600,000 people and a port responsible for 70 percent of imports into Yemen, raising fears the fighting could ignite a humanitarian catastrophe.

    The UN Security Council has expressed its "deep concern" over the fighting and UN officials have warned of a risk of famine.

    Adana Dieng, UN special adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, said the attack on Hudaida could heighten the risk of famine.

    "The Yemeni port (of Hudaida) is a lifeline for the delivery of aid and the Coalition's air attacks can kill many more people over time through famine and hunger when damaging such civilian infrastructure," Dieng said in a statement.

    More than 22 million people in Yemen are in need of aid, including 8.4 million who are at risk of starvation, according to the UN, which considers Yemen to be the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/saudi-uae-led-forces-capture-yemen-hudaida-airport-180616052826677.html

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    Re: Yemen Cholera epidemic is US and Saudi made

    Salaam

    Another update

    Attacking Hodeidah is Trump’s deliberate act of cruelty

    The Trump administration is guilty of many acts of deliberate cruelty, such as taking away the children of immigrant parents at the US border. But just as the world was watching the lead up to the Trump-Kim Jong-un meeting in Singapore last Monday, the US may have done something even worse by quietly announcing a decision that threatens to kill millions by starvation or disease.

    The potential death sentence came in a short press statement by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, effectively giving a green light for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to launch an offensive in Yemen aimed at capturing Hodeidah on the Red Sea. The port city is the point of entry for 70 per cent of food and medical supplies for the eight million Yemenis whom the UN says are on the brink of starvation out of the 22 million in need of humanitarian aid.

    The eagerness of US officials to avoid accusations of complicity in the Hodeidah attack is a sign that they suspect the outcome may be calamitous. Pompeo was deliberately low-key in his three sentence statement about Hodeidah: “I have spoken with Emirati leaders and made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports.”

    Absent from this message for the first time was any call for Saudi Arabia and the UAE not to attack Hodeidah, a city with a population of 600,000 who are already hearing explosions in the distance. The US and UAE have been working hard on a smokescreen of misinformation about who is responsible for what is happening and why they are launching the offensive now.

    The 25,000 Yemeni fighters advancing on Hodeidah are not an independent force but are paid for and under the control of the UAE. “We take our orders from the Emiratis, of course,” a Yemeni field commander in the front line told Iona Craig of The Intercept earlier this month as he called in airstrikes. This air support is provided by the Saudis and the UAE with the US providing essential services such as mid-air refuelling and target intelligence. The US is denying that it has a direct role in the assault on Hodeidh, but it would not be happening without its assent.

    The UAE has made it clear privately to US officials that it would not attack Hodeidah without the permission and support of the Trump administration. The White House has decided to escalate the Saudi and UAE-led campaign against the Houthis, whom it denounces as Iranian proxies, though without providing much evidence of this. A justification by the UAE for attacking Hodeidah is that it is used by the Houthis to import Iranian-made missiles and other weapons. “Should we leave the Houthis smuggling missiles?” asked a UAE ambassador. But a UN panel of experts concluded earlier in the year that no weapons were coming through the port from Iran because ships are randomly inspected and must be authorised by the UN.

    A crude attempt by the UAE to pretend that it is not acting in concert with the US is to announce publicly that its request to the US for satellite imagery, reconnaissance and mine-sweeping had been turned down. Given that countries do not normally put such rejections up in lights, this is clearly another attempt to play down the US role.

    Why is the US doing this? Trump is closer to Saudi Arabia and UAE than any another US president and they have put a vast effort into cultivating him. The White House sees Yemen as one front in a broader campaign to put pressure on Iran. But the most important motive for escalation by Saudi Arabia, UAE and their foreign backers such as the US, Britain and France is that their war has not been going well for them.

    When Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began the Saudi air war against the Houthis in March 2015 it was over-confidently named “Operation Decisive Storm”. It turned out to be anything but decisive and is still going on three years later. The Houthis, a Shia minority sect, control the capital Sanaa along with almost all of highly populated north Yemen and remain capable of firing the occasional missile into Saudi Arabia.

    The US is encouraging the UAE and its allies to take Hodeidah to break the deadlock, by tightening encirclement of the Houthis. But this is a long way from taking Sanaa and forcing the Houthis to surrender.

    What the Hodeidah operation may do is turn a humanitarian disaster, which the UN is already calling the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, into complete catastrophe. Three quarters of the 27 million Yemenis already require aid to survive and this may be cut off in the next few days as the fighting moves into Hodeidah and closes the port.

    The Saudis and the UAE are trying to defuse international concerns, particularly in the US Congress, about an impending famine by saying that they are ready and waiting to send in supplies once they have taken Hodeidah. That sounds good, but last year Saudi Arabia even banned chlorine tablets being sent to Yemen though it was suffering from a cholera epidemic in which, according to the World Health Organisation, 500,000 people have been infected and 2,000 children have died. The epidemic started because the Saudi-led coalition had bombed the main electric power station and not enough fuel was getting through to keep the sewage and water purification plants working.

    Even if Hodeidah falls, the Saudi and Emirati-backed Yemeni forces will be unable to fight their way into the rugged highlands of Yemen where the terrain favours the defender.

    Pretensions of humanitarian concern from Yemen by the US, Britain and France reek of hypocrisy, shedding copious tears for the victims of war while supplying the arms and advisers with which that war is being waged. The largely ineffective Houthi missiles fired at Riyadh are furiously denounced, but scarcely a squeak is heard about the relentless bombing of Sanaa and every other population centre in the country. The US and Britain opposed a demand by Sweden at the UN Security Council on Thursday that Saudi Arabia and UAE declare an immediate ceasefire. Some cynics suspect that the Saudi-UAE offensive is timed to sink peace efforts by the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths whereby the Houthis would withdraw from Hodeidah and the UN would take over the port city.

    Calling for a political settlement, as Britain has done, sounds better than calling for more war, but the outcome will be much the same so long as Saudi Arabia and UAE try to gain through diplomacy what they have failed to win on the battlefield over the last three years. If the Houthis do not withdraw, then the Saudi-led coalition is likely to rely on bombing to batter their way in. The city will end up looking like Raqqa, West Mosul or East Aleppo where ground troops act as a mopping up force after airstrikes have obliterated everything in front of them. It is only when the US, Britain and France begin to exact a political price from Saudi Arabia and UAE for continuing their disastrous foreign venture in Yemen that the end of the war will be in sight.

    https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/attacking-hodeidah-is-trumps-deliberate-act-of-cruelty/

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