This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

 Islam's Suffering Children

Across the country, nearly 10 million children – 80 percent of the country's under-18 population – are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance [UNICEF]
"The firepower with which this war is fought on the ground and in the air is causing more suffering than in other societies which are stronger and where infrastructures are better off and people are wealthier and have reserves and can escape."
"The images I have from Sanaa and Aden remind of what I have seen in Syria. So Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years."
Peter Maurer, president, International Committee for the Red Cross
Young Yemenis walk past a tank destroyed in clashes between Houthi rebels and government forces in the port city of Aden - 19 August 2015
Gulf states intervened in Yemen in a bid to restore the exiled government's control

The Islamic Republic of Iran's meddling has once again caused instability, this time in a country that has always suffered from endemic poverty. The ethnic Houthi Shiites in an otherwise Sunni Muslim country were incited to rebel against the ruling Sunnis because it would suit Iran's purpose to succeed in ensuring a Shiite crescent challenged the greater Sunni majority nations in the Middle East. Iran is anxious to demonstrate its titular historic place as the commanding Islamic leader.

The arc of Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Yemen with Shiite power in the ascendancy offends the Sunni majority countries and they have intervened, with Saudi Arabia leading a U.S.-approved coalition dedicated to aerial bombing of the Houthis. The Houthis, attacking to reinstall former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have raised the ire of neighbouring Saudi Arabia, sheltering President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

As always, when conflict breaks out, it is the civilian population that suffers and in Yemen the situation is made more dire because this is a population that already suffers from privation. It is the poorest of all Arab countries and its children are suffering horrendously. Infrastructure in the port city of Aden has been shattered, the result of incessant bombing missions, leaving residents without basic amenities, awaiting aid from abroad, which is slow in coming.

© Khaled Abdullah
The capital Sanaa, silently suffers. The lethal mixture of sectarian hatred, tribal antipathies, pitting rebels against local and tribal militias, southern separatists and Sunni Islamic militants has resulted in a civil war complicated by aerial bombing leaving the country devastated, with over two thousand of its people dead since March. Months of tense warfare and limits on imported foodstuffs resulting from an international embargo have led to catastrophic conditions for Yemenites.

Even recent gains by the southern resistance have "not materialized in a dramatic increase in the influx of goods", according to Mr. Maurer with the ICRC. Leading the United Nations to raise Yemen to its highest level of humanitarian crisis, placing it alongside emergencies in South Sudan, Syria and Iraq. Each of those countries being drained of their citizens becoming refugees seeking haven elsewhere have one thing in common: clan, tribal and religious strife.

Yemen Crisis

Four months of fighting between Houthi rebels and government forces, and Saudi-led coalition air strikes, have left the impoverished country in chaos

  • 80% of the population need aid
  • 13m people face food shortages
  • 1.4m forced from their homes
  • 2,000 civilians killed

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