Yemen: The Forgotten War on Terror

How many times have you come across news about Syria, Iraq, IS, etc? Maybe hundreds of times. But there is one more region in the middle East which suffers from similar problems and maybe more. In this story the villain is not only terrorists but also a nation. The country is Yemen, It’s problems started when it’s long time serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh had to give up power to His then subordinate Hadi in 2011. Saleh came to power in 1978 in North Yemen and took control of the whole nation when it was united in 1990. But even after that Saleh did not lose the grip over his country and the army was still loyal to Saleh.

So fast forward to present scenario, the Shia Houthis are aided by Iran and the govt. forces loyal to Saleh are fighting them. Now this has created a power vacuum in Yemen and IS and Al Qaeda is using this vacuum to hold ground in Yemen. And in this piece we are not talking how terrorists have captured land or their atrocities but the reaction of the International Community and it’s neglect which has made Yemen crisis the biggest humanitarian crisis in recent times. So see now if we look at the map of Yemen, it shares a long border with Saudi Arabia. And Saudi has always been seen as a Sunni powerhouse in the middle East and the contender of Iran. So Saudis are doing every thing to stop the growth of Houthis in border regions. Saudis have indiscriminately bombed Yemen cities and civilian areas leading to the deaths of over 12000 civilians( a conservation figure). The problem is how no outrage is seen in International media and that has given the Saudis a free hand. Houthis have already captured the Capital city of Sanaa and it’s govt. is in exile. Bombings by the Saudi led coalition targeted port cities disrupting the humanitarian aid the country got and the reason given was that it was used by Houthi militants to to procure weapons from Iran.

If we look at the Middle East, Saudi and Iran have always been wrestling whether it is Syria or Iraq. Mohamed bin Salman, the crown Prince of Saudi is pushing hard and letting the middle East know that who is the boss. We saw it in the Murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal khashoggi. And the USA was shut about it. Even the Saudi planes bombing Yemen are re fuelled in air by US tankers crafts. These refuelling planes take off from the US aircraft carriers. Even the bombs that were used to bomb schools buses and even funerals were US made. The thing is Saudi is the bad boy of middle East and US can’t say anything because it has bought the US congress by giving massive contracts of $100 billion. Yes, 100 billion that is cost of weapons Saudi is buying from the US. The deal was signed when Mohammed bin Salman visited D.C. This will create thousands of job in the US so one can imagine why Trump is keeping mum on it.

Refugees from Syria and Iraq can go to Turkey and other European Nations. But refugees from Yemen can’t even do that. Saudi won’t accept any Yemenis and only country Yemenis can reach via water are Somalia and Eritria which are much worse. Yemen is suffering from world's worst Cholera outbreak affecting 600000 people and 20000 have already died because of the disease. In short, if we see Yemen has become the backyard of Saudi Arabia where it exercises it’s full power and US and EU are giving it a free hand because checking Saudi means empowering Iran which neither the US or Israel (arch rival of Iran since 1979 Iran revolution) can allow. A wealthy bomb loving tyrant, a businessman president obsessed with just sales, a UN human rights council plagued with bias , the future of Yemen doesn’t look that bright.

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