Six Years Later, Yemen Is Still Being Starved | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Six Years Later, Yemen Is Still Being Starved

The people of Yemen have been enduring a six-year siege ever since the beginning of the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition’s intervention. The coalition’s indiscriminate bombing campaign has claimed thousands of innocent Yemeni lives, but the more destructive and insidious side of the war has been the blockade and the economic warfare that has accompanied it. At least 130,000 Yemeni civilians have died as a result of starvation and disease since the intervention started. That is more than have been killed by shells and bombs, and that number is set to grow substantially as the country once again faces a famine created by the war and blockade. Tens of thousands already live in famine conditions, and hundreds of thousands more may join them unless the blockade is brought to an end.

The U.S. shares responsibility for this killing blockade. As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, the US supported UNSCR 2216, which authorized an arms embargo that has become the pretext for trying to starve Yemen into submission. As an arms embargo, it has been a complete failure, but as a weapon against the civilian population it has been alarmingly effective. The US has also supported the enforcement of the blockade. As Bruce Riedel recently argued, the blockade itself is part of the Saudi coalition’s offensive operations, and the US needs to pressure the Saudis and the UAE to end it. All parties to the conflict are responsible for using food as a weapon, but the root of the problem is the blockade that has strangled normal commerce for more than half a decade.