From the last link:
Saudi Arabia reacting to UN famine warnings says ports in Yemen it controls will reopen for aid deliveries. Riyadh shut them down last week after a missile attack blamed on Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The above headlines are false. The Saudi government announced the re-opening of some Yemeni ports and airports. All of these are in the south and under control of Saudi proxy forces who are fighting the Houthi-Saleh alliance in north-west Yemen. Some 70% of the population lives in the north-western areas which will continue to be under an extreme blockade. The most important port in their area is Hodeida which will stay closed. Back in March the U.S. Pentagon tried to get control of the port. But fighting for it would have destroyed the piers and thereby the supply route for some 20 million people. The most important airport is in Sanaa. The Saudi/U.S./UK alliance blocks even UN flights with medical supplies from using it.
The Saudis now “request” the UN to send an expert commission to Riyadh to “discuss” procedures for future control of the ports that are not held by its proxies. Such a process will take weeks if not months. The Saudis will, like the Pentagon earlier, demand total control over the ports which their opponents will of course not give. Any such fighting will only worsen the situation.
Thanks to local smugglers some food and other goods will still be able to pass through the blockade. But these will be way too few and too expensive for the vast majority of Yemenis. When the recent blockade was announced, food and gas prices in Yemen doubled overnight. Public service employees have not been paid for more than 15 months. People simply can no longer afford to keep their children alive:
In Sana’a, Nor Rashid sold her family’s cow to pay for the transport costs to get her four year-old daughter, who weighs 16lbs, to the city’s feeding centre in Al-Sabaeen hospital. She has other children who are also sick but she cannot afford to pay for the medical care if she brings them in for treatment too. “It’s because of the lack of government wages,” she said. “Usually we go to the person in the village with a wage to ask for help and borrow money if someone needs to go to the hospital. But since the wages stopped we have no support.”
The UN warns, rightly, that the blockade is causing a mass famine. This famine is not a side effect of the war – it is a weapon:
To starve Yemeni civilians is an overt act by Riyadh, enraged by a humiliating failure to achieve a Saudi military victory.
The media claim that only 10,000 civilians have been killed in the two and a half years of the war. The number is laughable. Neither the UN nor others have published any detailed account. The 10,000 number seems to be plugged from hot air. Compare, for example, the dates and content of these two reports:
Al Jazeerah – 31 Aug 2016: UN: At least 10,000 killed in Yemen conflict
The United Nations has significantly revised the estimated death toll from Yemen’s 18-month civil war to up to 10,000 people
Speaking from the capital Sanaa on Tuesday, Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator, said the new figure was based on official information from medical facilities in Yemen.
Al Jazeerah – 17 Jan 2017: Death toll in Yemen conflict passes 10,000
The United Nations’ humanitarian aid official in Yemen has said that the civilian death toll in the nearly two-year conflict has reached 10,000, with 40,000 others wounded.The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ Jamie McGoldrick said that the figure is based on lists of victims gathered by health facilities …
The same low number is claimed by the same official in August and in January while a devastating war has been ongoing throughout that time frame. That does not make sense. To provide a cynic laugh attack, or out of stupidity, the later Al Jazeerah report says:
The announcement marks the first time a UN official has confirmed such a high death toll in Yemen
Up to July 2017 the U.S.-Saudi coalition had flown more than 90,000 air-sorties over Yemen. Most of those will have involved weapon releases. Are we to believe that only 10,000 civilians have been killed by all these bombs and the additional artillery, sharpshooters and suicide attacks? That would be inconsistent even with western reports of the known mass incidents during the war. 100,000 dead civilians caused by the war so far is a more likely number than the never changing 10,000.
On November 1 a Saudi bomb attack killed at least 29 people in a busy market in Saada. The Yemeni missile launch against the airport of Riyadh on November 4 was in response to that deadly Saudi attack. The Saudis claim that these Yemeni missiles are from Iran and the U.S. military is, without providing evidence, supporting that fairy tale:
[R]emnants of [the missile] bore “Iranian markings,” the top U.S. Air Force official in the Mideast said Friday.
“The Saudis found a sticker on the wreckage. It said Made in Iran.”
In a video message the former Yemeni president explained that these missiles were from the large stash he bought before the ongoing war broke out. According to IHS Janes these missiles are of North Korean origin (pdf) and were modified by the experienced Yemeni army missile forces.
In concert with Saudi propaganda’s curious claims now pop up in U.S. media. Suddenly Afghan Shia fighters (Fatemiyoun) or Hizbullah from Lebanon are said to be fighting in Yemen. These claims make no sense. Explain, for example, the geography in this recent New York Times piece:
Not only did Iran send smaller units of the Fatemiyoun to cross Syrian borders and fight in Yemen, …
How and why would Afghan Shia, who do not speak Arabic, enter the blockaded Yemen? There are millions of unemployed Yemenis in the besieged areas. They hate the Saudis. The Houthi surely have no lack of foot-soldiers.
In yesterday’s TV interview the kidnapped Lebanese Premier Saad Hariri insinuated that he would be released by the Saudis if Hizbullah ends operations in Yemen. AP summarized:
[Hariri] singled out Hezbollah’s involvement in Yemen as the main cause of the kingdom’s ire.
But there is no reasonable evidence at all that any Hizbullah are in Yemen. In 2015 a Saudi diplomat claimed to “have reports” of Hizbullah trainers in Yemen without providing any of them. In 2016 the Saudi state owned Al Arabia TV posted a short video of which it claims that it shows a Hizbullah trainer teaching Houthis. No date or place or other information about the recording was released. In the two and a half years of the war on Yemen no reports from the ground emerged of any Hizbullah involvement or of wounded or killed Lebanese or Iranian or Afghan fighters.
The Houthis are no Hezbollah and they are not stooges of the Iranian government. Their alliance with Yemeni army troops loyal to former President Saleh gives them tactical and technical capabilities. Their weapons are either from old stocks or purchased from the large weapon markets in Yemen. The dealers buy these weapons from the groups the Saudi employ and generously equip and supply. Those Saudi controlled forces are the main suppliers of their designated enemies.
The Saudis are starving a whole country – with avid support of the “humanitarian” western world. The UN bureaucracy and leadership was bought off and is complicit. The Saudi tyrant kidnaps and blackmails the Prime Minister of a third country. All this because he fails to overcome the barefooted Houthi fighters in Yemen against which he started a senseless war. The Saudis invent Iranian involvement and the media avidly repeat their claims without any evidentiary support.
Literally millions are in imminent danger of dying. Meanwhile greedy “western” politicians are ass-kissing the Saudi freak of a clown prince and his senile father. They support whatever lunatic claim the Saudis make about their perceived enemies.
The next time you see one these creatures please punch its face.