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The West Tries To Hide The War In Yemen, But Fails

During the recent escalation between NATO and Russia in Ukraine, emotions have been high and the news media has been saturated with non-stop coverage of Russia’s military offensive. However, as the war wages on, the blackout continues on the world’s worst conflict zone, Yemen.

The United Nations humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, urged the world, in a speech — which seems to have fallen on deaf ears — to not forget about Yemen “one of the world’s gravest global humanitarian catastrophes”. According to UN statistics, 19 million Yemenis are considered to have been left hungry, with 160,000 facing “famine like conditions”.  Despite the fact that nearly 400,000 Yemenis have died as a result of the ongoing war, if you were to pay attention to Western mainstream broadcast media, it would seem that Ukraine is the world’s worst conflict zone.

What’s worse is that Yemeni civilians do not, for the most part, have the option of fleeing the country as, primarily, US-UK made missiles fall on their towns and cities. The country is currently being tortured with a blockade and the country has been torn apart by a war that the United States gave the green light for in 2015. Although US President, Joe Biden, vowed to put an end to the Saudi-led coalitions war in Yemen, against the Ansarallah government in Sanaa, Washington’s actions have only fueled more escalation.

The situation may get even more bloody now that Saudi Arabia is urgently needed by the United States to ease their self-imposed oil-price crisis, which has come in large part due to their embargo on Russian oil. President Biden has been pushing to have Riyadh pump up more crude oil in a bid to ease the market and lower the fuel prices for average Westerners. Although the Biden administration was “predicting” a Russian invasion of Ukraine for weeks (in fact the US government has been saying the same for years) Biden made no prior tangible efforts to stabilize his country’s relations with Riyadh in order to be in a better negotiating position over crude oil.

For Joe Biden, if he wants Riyadh to fully play ball, he must step up his support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen and mend previous wounds inflicted between the two sides. It is Saudi that now possesses the leverage over the United States in this situation. Ansarallah, which are actively fighting Saudi’s proxy forces in Yemen and have been pouring gas onto the fire, are responding to Riyadh’s aggression in an escalatory manner. The latest move by Ansarallah, otherwise known as the Houthis, was to launch another drone and missile attack on Saudi Aramco facilities.

According to the Saudi energy ministry, suicide drones, otherwise known as loitering munitions, hit a petroleum products distribution terminal in the southern Jizan region, a natural gas plant, and the Yasref refinery in the Red Sea port of Yanbu. “The assault on Yasref facilities has led to a temporary reduction in the refinery’s production, which will be compensated for from the inventory,” said the Saudi government statement. With both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) putting pressure on Washington to place Ansarallah back on the list of designated terrorist groups, it is feared that the Biden administration will act to return to former US President Donald Trump’s move. This is especially dangerous as Ansarallah is the strongest force inside Yemen and maintains control over the nation’s capital city Sanaa and primary port of Hodeidah, meaning that aid organisations seeking to help suffering Yemenis may have their work interfered with in significant ways. The UN has warned the White House of the “catastrophic consequences” of such a move, but advice from the United Nations has meant little to Washington when it comes to Yemen.

This war will not end until Ansarallah either force it to end militarily, or the United States and Britain say no to Saudi Arabia and force a settlement. For US-UK support and weapons sales to Riyadh to continue and even grow from this point on, in large part due to a knock on effect on the war in Ukraine, is of real concern. We see almost no media coverage of what is happening in Yemen and this is because most of what is happening their does not directly impact the Western world. However, this could rapidly change soon if the flow of oil is significantly affected by Ansarallah’s military wing. Additional patriot missile air defense systems have now been sent to Saudi Arabia as a result of urgent requests, according to the Wall Street Journal, which may indicate the seriousness with which the US are taking Houthi strikes on the oil rich Kingdom.

We are heading for more war in Yemen, whilst holding up anti-war in Ukraine banners in the streets of Western nations. Apparently we do not understand the irony of chanting for NATO member states to take on Russia as an anti-war position and ignoring the fact that the world’s most intense war is being caused by NATO member nations. There is no humanitarian crisis on earth as urgent as Yemen, yet we cannot even find the time to report on it, let alone rally against our governments to stop their participating in it. Maybe if Yemen becomes a large part of the reason oil prices are high, we will start to reflect on the nearly half million Yemenis the UK and US government’s have helped kill. Yet even then, as history has shown, their selfishness would probably only fuel political support for more war.


Robert Inlakesh
Robert Inlakesh is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, Middle-East analyst & news correspondent for The Last American Vagabond.

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