Rubble, Blood And Famine: 1000 Days Of Saudi Arabia's War In Yemen

It has been 1,000 days since the Saudi-led coalition started bombing Houthi positions in Yemen. The invasion has left the country in ruins.

The ongoing conflict in Yemen started nearly 1,000 days ago on March 21, 2015, when a Saudi-led coalition started bombing the country with support from the United States and United Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia waged war mainly to stop the Houthi rebel movement, believed to be backed by the Gulf kingdom’s regional rival, Iran, from overthrowing the pro-Riyadh Yemeni government.

However, nearly three years down the lane, the war has not affected the Houthi movement as much as it has yielded disastrous consequences for innocent citizens, who are not only deprived of basic necessities such as food, water and medical assistance, but are also facing history's worst cholera outbreak.

More than 10,000 people have been killed, more than 3 million lost their homes and almost 7 million are at a risk of acute famine — yet, there is no sign of end to what has now evolved into a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, has become a living hell for the people, where bombings and bloodshed have become the norm.

The bombings have resulted in internal displacement and destruction, whereas some 14 million people — over half of them children — do not have access to clean water and sanitation.

According to the British charity Save the Children, 50,000 children are expected to have died by this year's end, with a crippling blockade on ports and airports worsening food shortages, and a cholera outbreak affecting 1 million people.

"People are selling their belongings in order to feed their children," said Saif Saleh al-Oliby, a freelance photographer based in the capital, Sanaa.

Many believe this proxy war is quickly transforming in a “forgotten” conflict.

"There are things that could happen tomorrow that could stop children from dying," said Caroline Anning, a senior adviser at Save the Children, who recently visited war-torn Yemen.

"Considering the depth of the suffering and the fact that it's entirely man-made, we haven't had the level of international attention on Yemen that you would expect to see."

Devastating images of children starving to death have failed to spur the international community into ending the world's worst humanitarian crisis, and the crisis is becoming worse day by day, charities warned.

"Yemen is regarded as an invisible conflict, that the world has forgotten," said Liny Suharlim, ACTED's Yemen country director. According to her, the Saudi Kingdom successfully kept journalists away from reporting the real situation in Yemen; therefore, the world’s conscience is limited.

She also explained that a significant refugee crisis didn’t take place after a combined result of poverty, geography and Yemenis' inability to escape the relentless fighting, this also encouraged the West to ignore the conflict.

Thumbnail: Reuters, Mohamed al-Sayaghi

View Comments

Recommended For You