The conflict in Yemen has been raging on for nearly half a decade since Saudi Arabia, along with the help of other Gulf powers and the US and UK, intervened in the political situation of the country. The US and UK have readily supplied the Saudi forces despite clear evidence of mass civilian casualties and purposeful starvation of the Yemeni populace akin to genocide. CAPA is dedicated to pressuring lawmakers to end our arms sales to Saudi Arabia and negotiate a peaceful conclusion to the conflict.
“An estimated 130 Yemeni children are dying every day of malnutrition and disease.”
Beginning in 2015, Saudi Arabia, assisted by other autocratic Gulf states as well as the United States and United Kingdom, has been conducting a military campaign in Yemen, aimed at ousting the Houthi faction and installing a more pliable government in the neighboring country. The Saudi strategy of starving and terrorizing the Yemeni people into submission involves indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets, including hospitals, schools and water treatment plants, as well as the blockading of Yemeni ports.
These war crimes – committed largely with weapons purchased from the U.S. – have resulted in a humanitarian crisis of the first magnitude. In addition to the many thousands of direct casualties in this one-sided war, hunger and illness are rife in Yemen, due to the inability to import food and the destruction of vital infrastructure. The United Nations has declared that Yemen constitutes “the world’s biggest hunger crisis.” According to OCHA estimates, 130 Yemeni children are dying every day of malnutrition and disease.
Since the Saudi-led intervention began, the U.S. has been providing intelligence and logistical aid, without which the campaign could not long continue. This military support, never authorized by Congress, includes participation in naval blockades, mid-air refueling of coalition aircraft, targeting assistance and more. Additionally, the U.S. continues to sell billions of dollars of advanced weapons to coalition states, which will be used to wreak further havoc on the long-suffering Yemeni population.
“With 2,000,000 Yemeni having fled the country and the death toll climbing over 16,500, there is estimated to be 22,200,000 civilians in need of assistance.”
In March, the Senate voted down a measure (sponsored by Bernie Sanders, among others) that would have invoked the War Powers Act to end U.S. collaboration with the Saudis in waging war against Yemen. While the resolution did not pass, 44 senators supported it, in defiance of the formidable Saudi lobby, Trump administration officials and the military-industrial complex. The Senate vote has helped bring the Yemen war – which has not received extensive coverage from the mainstream media – into public awareness and forced legislators to take a stand either for or against peace and constitutional governance.
The killing continues in Yemen, and the effort to halt the U.S.-Saudi war, directed largely against defenseless civilians, continues to gain momentum. Now is the time to take action and to work for peace in the Middle East. The first step is to learn how our tax dollars are being used, without the consent of Congress, to inflict destruction and misery on an impoverished and war-wracked country. By spreading the word, organizing and putting pressure on our elected representatives, we can bring this brutal, shameful war to an end and move toward a peaceful resolution of the Yemeni conflict.