Many Americans are not aware of the plight of the Yemeni people, or the level of U.S. culpability for their dire situation. The conflict began in 2015, when Yemen’s Houthi rebels ousted the country’s leader, and a Saudi-led coalition of Gulf nations intervened to fight the rebels and re-instate the government. The coalition has carried out airstrikes on civilian homes, hospitals, water infrastructure, and farms – attacks that receive essential support from American planes conducting mid-air re-fueling for the coalition jets. The coalition has instituted a blockade of food and even medical supplies – a blockade enforced by American ships. The coalition has purchased tens of billions of bombs and other arms – from America.
More than 8 million people in Yemen are on the verge of starvation, 22 million people there need humanitarian aid, and more than 1 million people have contracted cholera, all resulting from American intervention, and all of this without ever being voted on in Congress.
As if that weren’t enough, the war is contributing to the development of terrorist groups in Yemen, who can recruit new members simply by pointing out the shards of U.S-made bombs lying in the ruins of a hospital or school.
The Saudi-led coalition, which is backed by the U.S., recently stormed into the bustling port city of Hodeida. Tens of thousands of Yemenis fled their homes because of this last offensive. The port is a lifeline in the country where 10 million people are on the brink of starvation.
We must press Congress to get the U.S. out of the conflict -- and to support diplomacy to end the war.
One aid worker on the ground described the scene:
“People are trying to leave with rockets and mortars over their heads. Other people are besieged in their homes. It’s hot and there is no water and we are scared.”
“Please stop what is happening.”
No one should have to flee their homes while fighter jets made in the U.S., and refueled by the U.S., drop bombs on schools and marketplaces and hospitals.
Together, we can end this war, but we have to keep pushing.