More than 8,670 people – 60% of them civilians – have been killed and 49,960 injured in air strikes and fighting on the ground since the coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015, according to the UN.
Yemen (/ˈjɛmən/ ( listen); Arabic: اليَمَن al-Yaman), officially known as the Republic of Yemen (الجمهورية اليمنيةal-Jumhūrīyah al-Yamanīyah), is an Arab country in Western Asia at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen is the second-largest country in the peninsula, occupying 527,970 km2 (203,850 sq mi). The coastline stretches for about 2,000 km (1,200 mi). It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea to the south, and Oman to the east-northeast. Although Yemen’s constitutionally stated capital is the city of Sana’a, the city has been under rebel control since February 2015. Because of this, Yemen’s capital has been temporarily relocated to the port city of Aden, on the southern coast. Yemen’s territory includes more than 200 islands; the largest of these is Socotra.
Yemen was the home of the Sabaeans (biblical Sheba), a trading state that flourished for over a thousand years and also included parts of modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea. In 275 AD, the region came under the rule of the later Jewish-influenced Himyarite Kingdom. Christianity arrived in the fourth century, whereas Judaism and local paganism were already established. Islam spread quickly in the seventh century and Yemenite troops were crucial in the expansion of the early Islamic conquests. Administration of Yemen has long been notoriously difficult. Several dynasties emerged from the ninth to 16th centuries, the Rasulid dynasty being the strongest and most prosperous. The country was divided between the Ottoman and British empires in the early twentieth century. The ZaydiMutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen was established after World War I in North Yemen before the creation of the Yemen Arab Republic in 1962. South Yemen remained a British protectorate known as the Aden Protectorate until 1967 when it became an independent state and later, a Marxist state. The two Yemeni states united to form the modern republic of Yemen in 1990.
Yemen is a developing country,and the poorest country in the Middle East. Under the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen was described as a kleptocracy. According to the 2009 international corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, Yemen ranked 164 out of 182 countries surveyed. In the absence of strong state institutions, elite politics in Yemen constituted a de facto form of collaborative governance, where competing tribal, regional, religious, and political interests agreed to hold themselves in check through tacit acceptance of the balance it produced. The informal political settlement was held together by a power-sharing deal between three men: president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who controlled the state; Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who controlled the largest share of the Republic of Yemen Armed Forces; and Abdullah ibn Husayn al-Ahmar, figurehead of the Islamist Islah party and Saudi Arabia’s chosen broker of transnational patronage payments to various political players, including tribal sheikhs. The Saudi payments have been intended to facilitate the tribes’ autonomy from the Yemeni government and to give the Saudi government a mechanism with which to weigh in on Yemen’s political decision-making.
Yemen has been in a state of political crisis since 2011, starting with street protests against poverty, unemployment, corruption, and president Saleh’s plan to amend Yemen’s constitution and eliminate the presidential term limit, in effect making him president for life. President Saleh stepped down and the powers of the presidency were transferred to Vice President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was formally elected president on 21 February 2012 in a one-man election. The transitional process was part of the UN-backed Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative known as National Dialogue Conference. In September 2014, the Houthis took over Sana’a with the help of the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, later declaring themselves in control of the country after a coup d’état. This resulted in a new civil war and a Saudi Arabian-led military intervention aimed at preventing the collapse of Hadi’s fledgling government.
The war has the blockade of food imports into the country, leading to a famine that is affecting 17 million people. The lack of clean water, caused by depleted aquifers and the destruction of the country’s water infrastructure, has also caused the world’s worst outbreak of cholera, with the number of suspected cases exceeding 200,000. Due to the war, famine, and cholera, the country has been called “Hell on Earth”
The U.S. launched a series of drone attacks in Yemen to curb a perceived growing terror threat due to political chaos in Yemen. Since December 2009, U.S. strikes in Yemen have been carried out by the U.S. military with intelligence support from the CIA. The drone strikes are protested by human-rights groups who say they kill innocent civilians and that the U.S. military and CIA drone strikes lack sufficient congressional oversight, including the choice of human targets suspected of being threats to America. Controversy over U.S. policy for drone attacks mushroomed after a September 2011 drone strike in Yemen killed Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both U.S. citizens. Another drone strike in October 2011 killed Anwar’s teenaged son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.
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Rights Watch (UK) (@rightswatchuk) tweeted at 4:11 AM – 10 Jul 2017 :
PRESS RELEASE Court ruling on #Saudi arms gives #UK green light to prioritise financial gain over Yemeni lives https://t.co/OwPwYeJnGn (http://twitter.com/rightswatchuk/status/884354422679195649?s=17)
SavetheChildren News (@SaveUKNews) tweeted at 4:09 AM – 10 Jul 2017 :
Bombs are killing #Yemen’s children. Unbelievable decision from High Court today on UK arms sales https://t.co/UDxUe0VnBS #StopArmingSaudi https://t.co/KqiTXtPOS3 (http://twitter.com/SaveUKNews/status/884353754090418177?s=17)
Marc Lynch (@abuaardvark) tweeted at 3:26 AM – 13 Jul 2017 :
UN envoy says the conflict in Yemen is intensifying daily, humanitarian devastation https://t.co/4Hwa6DArV6(http://twitter.com/abuaardvark/status/885430182429024256?s=17)
OCHA Yemen (@OCHAYemen) tweeted at 3:42 AM – 12 Jul 2017 :
#Yemen: largest food crisis and worst cholera outbreak in the world, while funding stands at only 33.3%. More https://t.co/K4uavr2AmN. https://t.co/k7fephIbCH (http://twitter.com/OCHAYemen/status/885071839529238528?s=17)
Ali Omer (@aliomer1983) tweeted at 4:01 AM – 12 Jul 2017 :
@OCHAYemen @Ndawsari U r really gaining to much money from & profiteering from yemen Tragedy
Too much cry to much money, nothing on ground
Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) tweeted at 2:55 PM – 17 Jul 2017 :
Woman walking in a miniskirt causes uproar in Saudi Arabia.
But Saudi Arabia bombing and starving millions of Yemenis for two years? Meh! https://t.co/3UqKq7JQOh(http://twitter.com/sahouraxo/status/887053263828389889?s=17)
Caabu (@Caabu) tweeted at 5:11 AM – 4 Aug 2017 :
If #Yemen was 100 people – humanitarian situation is getting worse due to blockade more action must be taken to end this crisis v @WHOYemen https://t.co/BvCz0qz3VZ (http://twitter.com/Caabu/status/893429212148879360?s=17)
Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) tweeted at 4:00 PM on Thu, Aug 24, 2017:
‘A child under the age of 5 in #yemen dies every 10 minutes from preventable causes’ – where is the Int’l community? https://t.co/SkfgwdpsAA
Daniel Wickham (@DanielWickham93) tweeted at 5:03 AM – 3 Aug 2017 :
Our Conservative government is literally helping to cause the world’s largest humanitarian crisis in Yemen. https://t.co/VI6YTw4yWB (http://twitter.com/DanielWickham93/status/893064837588283395?s=17)
Daniel Wickham (@DanielWickham93) tweeted at 5:05 AM – 3 Aug 2017 :
And no, this is not whataboutery. It’s calling out the hypocrisy of a govt which uses suffering in Venezuela to score points against Corbyn (http://twitter.com/DanielWickham93/status/893065365915398144?s=17)
Daniel Wickham (@DanielWickham93) tweeted at 5:09 AM – 3 Aug 2017 :
while actively helping the vastly more repressive government of Saudi Arabia to bomb and starve the Arab world’s poorest country. (http://twitter.com/DanielWickham93/status/893066333616824320?s=17)
Peter Joseph (@ZeitgeistFilm) tweeted at 10:08 PM on Thu, Nov 09, 2017:
“It will be the largest famine the world has seen for many decades with millions of victims.”
UNICEF (@UNICEF) tweeted at 10:29 AM – 9 Nov 2017 :
#Yemen: A catastrophic situation is getting worse. 400k children at risk of severe acute malnutrition: https://t.co/WRcbMMG7Os
#ChildrenUnderAttack https://t.co/mXEHiQ2cVI (http://twitter.com/UNICEF/status/928675918616383488?s=17)
comment on above tweet about africa
donzy billions. (@chiprince12) tweeted at 3:45 PM – 9 Nov 2017 :
@UNICEF @UN @UNOCHA @UNReliefChief African children suffer like this all the time but the UN still encourages dictators and bad governance in Africa (http://twitter.com/chiprince12/status/928755345584984065?s=17)
Dr. Gary Slutkin (@GSlutkin) tweeted at 9:11 PM on Wed, Nov 15, 2017:
Priority Human Problem:
Massive Child Starvation
Simple Guide to Solution:
1. Stop bombing
2. Convince others to stop bombing
3. Bring food
Democracy Now! (@democracynow) tweeted at 5:38 AM – 14 Dec 2017 :
Then—Journalist @ionacraig on latest updates from the devastating U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen. Live 8-9AM ET: https://t.co/Xup8cdtnFB (http://twitter.com/democracynow/status/941286220805664769?s=17)
TIME (@TIME) tweeted at 9:37 PM on Thu, Dec 21, 2017:
The world’s worst cholera outbreak has now infected 1 million people in Yemen https://t.co/2V7j7HRkuC
Noor Al Hussein (@QueenNoor) tweeted at 6:36 AM – 22 Dec 2017 :
BBC News – Starvation in Sanaa: 1,000 days of Yemen’s civil war https://t.co/hqxiBtqvD5 shame on all involved who are endangering entire region! (http://twitter.com/QueenNoor/status/944199912161529856?s=17)
In Yemen, 1 Child dies EVERY 10 minutes.
From cholera, famine, Saudi aggression, and more. #HandsoffYemen https://t.co/yFfH8EMkil
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/KhaledBeydoun/status/946872763129532416
Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) tweeted at 5:22 AM – 23 Apr 2018 :
In Yemen today, the Saudis bombed a wedding, killing at least 20 people, including the bride. They killed “mostly women and children.” The US & UK – who some believe do humanitarian interventions – both play vital roles in the Saudi destruction of Yemen https://t.co/496jXAigq7 (http://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/988377521833041920?s=17)
GeorgeMonbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot) tweeted at 6:04 AM – 23 Apr 2018 :
The massacres in #Yemen continue. Carried out by Saudi Arabia, which is armed and given diplomatic cover by the UK and US. Every day a new outrage: https://t.co/XsVgqfxBLC (http://twitter.com/GeorgeMonbiot/status/988388143769497601?s=17)