SINCE March 26 Saudi coalition air forces have launched more than 1,200 airstrikes against targets throughout Yemen, with some strikes killing scores of civilians. A bomb dropped on the Al Mazraq refugee camp in northern Yemen on March 30 killed at least 30 civilians. An airstrike on a dairy factory in the port city of Hodeida on April 1 killed at least 37 workers.
The Saudi monarchy, with US backing, has launched a widespread air assault against Houthi-controlled military targets as well as major urban areas. Street fighting in Aden between Houthi forces and armed forces opposed to them has left hundreds deadand hundreds more wounded, littering the streets with corpses. Saudi-US coalition airstrikes have hit residential areas and homes as well as schools and hospitals throughout the country, including inthe provinces of Taiz, Amran, Ibb, Al-Jawf, Sanaa and Saada. Ivan Simonovic, UN Deputy Secretary General for Human Rights, said that over 600 people have been killed in Yemen so far, more than half ofwhom are civilians.
While the United States has provided intelligence and logistical support to the Saudi coalition from the onset of the assault, it has been gradually increasing its involvement in the conflict. American imperialism has long sought to maintain its control over Yemen, which lies next to the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, a major oil choke point. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration has a direct hand in the selection of targets for airstrikes. Pentagon war planners at a joint operations centre are directly approving every target selected by the Saudi military. The conflicts in Yemen are based on political, social as well as local/tribal differences. The (Sunni) Yemeni Moslem Brotherhood fraction, Al-Islah party, is led by the Ahmar family, which is Zeidi. Hashed and Bakil, the main two Zeidi tribes in the North, make up 20% of the Yemeni population.
Under the Monarchy as well as under the Republic they played the major role in deciding who was going to rule Yemen. All parties responsible for this conflict are from Hashed: the former President Saleh, the Houthis and the Al-Ahmar family (leaders of the Moslem Brothers). In the past few years, the coalitions among these actors have been pragmatically swapped. The fights with Houthi militia as well as the separatist movement inthe South are the result of the Sanaa government’s inability to fulfil the resolutions of the National Dialogue Conference. This government itself was a compromise imposed by Saudi Arabia to safe-guardits interests after Saleh’s resignation. It kept in power the Al-Ahmar family as well as pro-Saleh fractions.
Both regional powers with vested interest, Saudi Arabia and Iran, dragged their allies into the recent escalation. While Saudi Arabia’s pressure on its allies prevents the Iran-allied Houthis from sharing power ,the Houthi solo-attempt to take power seems to be short-sighted. A solution can only be achieved on the negotiation table between all Yemeni parties and not by foreign intervention.
US, take your hands off Yemen!
Stop the aggression against Yemen!
For a political solution of the Yemeni conflict based on democracy and participation!
For a democratic united Yemen!