Why don’t we hear more about the war in Yemen? Or rather, why haven’t I heard more about it? I didn’t hear about it until Samantha Bee mentioned it on her late night show. Here are some things to know about it if you’re like me and have been living under a rock:
- A rebel group called the Houthis formed as a theological movement preaching peace — they’ve been battling supporters of the Yemen government.
- In 2015, Saudi Arabia formed a coalition of Arab states to defeat the Houthis.
- Countries involved: Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Senegal.
- The US has been known to launch air strikes on Yemen. The US recently admitted to deploying a number of troops there.
- Yemen has been home to an al-Qaeda franchise, known to be one of the most dangerous in the organization.
- US has caught Iran in the act of sending Houthi rebels weapons, most recently in March, 2018.
- Saudi Arabia fears Iran will expand into Yemen with its support for Shia armed groups.
- Saudi-backed rebels fight against Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria.
- In Lebanon, Iran sponsors the Shia militia — Hezbollah — while Saudi Arabia supports the Sunni Future Movement.
- Saudi Arabia executed Shia Muslim leader Nimr al-Nimr earlier this year.
- Basically the main issues seem to stem from the Sunnis in Saudi Arabia and the Shias in Iran.
- The issues in Yemen, however, revolve around economic and political issues.
- The government lifted fuel subsidies in 2014, which angered the public and in turn Houthi supporters began to protest.
- Al-Qaeda has launched several attacks on Houthi rebels since the start of the war because it views the Houthis as infidels.
- Civilian casualties are incredibly high: at least 50,000 children died in 2017.
- Providing aid to civilians is very difficult and dangerous considering the amount and consistency of which bombings occur. Doctors Without Borders tries to provide aid in the area, but a handful have been killed or injured in the process.
There’s still a lot I don’t know or understand, but I’m hoping to continue reading about the war.
^^ Blu Jay