Sana’a (GPA) – In March of 2015, a coalition of over two dozen countries launched a war against this tiny and impoverished country at the bottom of the Arabian Peninsula. Women and children constitute roughly 30% of all casualties. In fact, airstrikes frequently target women and children. Here’s exactly what 1,200 days of US-Saudi war in Yemen has destroyed.
Despite Yemen’s cries for help, the United Nations has done virtually nothing to disarm Saudi Arabia — or even slow down — the kingdom’s genocidal behavior for over three years.
What has 1,200 Days of War in Yemen Destroyed?
Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development (a local organization for tracking statistics) released the figures below just days ago reflecting destruction from airstrikes and military action. These numbers demonstrate the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition’s intention to wipe out all aspects of Yemeni life including those required for survival, cultural heritage, and even Yemenis themselves.
Civilian Casualties from the War in Yemen
U.S.-backed airstrikes and military operations have killed or injured nearly 38,000 Yemeni civilians. That’s enough to fill a small city. No matter how hard Western media parrots the official Saudi line, the war in Yemen is clearly not a war against Iranians — it’s a war against Yemenis.
Children constitute over 17% of all casualties (6,530) while women make up over 12% (4,662). For every three casualties, at least one is a woman or child.
In fact, many terror attacks specifically target women and children. In April, coalition warplanes bombed the bride’s tent at a wedding as women gathered to prepare for the event — dozens were killed. Also in April, U.S.-backed planes attacked a refugee campkilling seven children and infants.
Warplanes have no qualms about striking multiple civilian homes in the same day orcircling back to attack rescue crews and reporters entering the scene. The U.S.-backed Saudi coalition also has a thing for targeting densely packed gatherings like weekend markets, large funerals, and buses. As a matter of fact, the most recent bus attacktargeted dozens of refugees fleeing the coalition airstrikes just miles away.
To top it off, 2,650,000 internally displaced Yemenis live as refugees in their own country.
Obliterating Resources and Culture
Although the large numbers seem overwhelming, it’s important to take a close look at the list below. These are absolutely not accidents, miscalculations, mistakes, or whatever Riyadh and Washington want to call them. (If they decide to comment at all.)
Every number on that list reflects a community’s source of education for their children, food to put on the table, fuel to cook and get to work, somewhere to go for emergency medical care, roads to get from A to B, income to pay the bills, fun places to go on the weekend, and literally everything average people take for granted in their daily life.
…And that doesn’t even include civilian dwellings. The Saudi coalition has destroyed or severely damaged over 400,000 homes: enough to fill a large city akin to those you’d find in an average U.S. suburb.
The U.S.-Saudi coalition distinctively targets basic utilities necessary for daily survival like sources of electricity and water treatment facilities. This has forced many Yemeni communities to rely on domestically produced solar stations to power water pumps and deliver electricity to homes. (All of which are also not immune to Saudi airstrikes.) The targetting of water treatment facilities directly contributed to the staggering number of cholera infections — over one million.
Even mosques and ancient archeological sites are not safe from the wrath of U.S.-backed warplanes. Yemen boasts some of the oldest epicenters of civilization with ruins and sites dating back to over 1,000 BCE. This is all part and parcel of the Saudi coalition’s genocide to wipe out Yemeni culture and the remnants of everything non-Wahhabi (the Saudi Kingdom’s religion). Saudi Arabia has a long history of targeting non-Wahhabi monuments and shrines in every country they invade — long before ISIS picked up the tactic.
Isolating Yemen from the International Community
The Saudi coalition’s strategy also includes isolating Yemen from the international community. A large part of this involves a smear campaign about Iran so the coalition can discredit Yemen’s actual grievances. (Grievances which just so happen to include U.S. imperialism and exploitation from the Gulf kingdoms.)
The coalition accomplishes this goal by destroying Yemen’s telecommunication equipment like cell phone towers (421 to be exact). Airstrikes and military bombardment also specifically target government buildings (over 1,700) which prohibit public sector employees and government administrations from functioning. Public sector jobs constitute a large portion of Yemen’s workforce and several industries including healthcare, education, sanitation, and engineers.
It’s worth mentioning that the financial portion of the blockade has crippled Yemen’s central bank which means that all public sector salaries remain chronically behind if they’re paid at all. Many have reluctantly sought employment in the private sector or for international NGOs.
What Exactly has 1,200 Days of U.S.-Saudi War in Yemen Obliterated?
|Industrial & Private Sector|
|Malls & Shopping Centers||620|
|Chicken & Poultry Farms||295|
|Hospitals and Medical Centers||318|
|Schools & Institutes||882|
|Colleges & Universities||147|
|Public & Civilian Infrastructure|
|Bridges & Roads||2,512|
|Power Stations & Generators||185|
|Water Tanks, Pumps, & Networks||727|
|Destroyed or Damaged Homes||414,574|
The coalition’s land, sea, and air blockade has likely killed tens of thousands more from starvation, famine, and disease. 22 million Yemenis require immediate humanitarian assistance for survival. Civilians requiring lifesaving medical treatment lack access to supplies and services for conditions like cancer, kidney dialysis, diabetes, and pregnancy.
The United States supplies the bulk of weapons, air fuel, vehicles, and ships for carrying out Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes and ground invasion. Washington also provides the Saudi coalition with training for ground troops as well as logistical and intelligence support. In other words: the help Saudi Arabia select airstrike targets.
Top Photo | Relatives of people killed in the Navy Seal Team 6 raid in January, gather in one of the decimated houses. (Photo: Nasser al Sane)
Randi Nord is a journalist and co-founder of Geopolitics Alert. She covers U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East with a special focus on Yemen.
Geopolitcs Alert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.
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