Yemen’s capital city of Sanaa has been nearly reduced to rubble by a series of airstrikes from Saudi Arabia — which started in May of 2015. The Saudi bombing campaign was triggered by the ouster of Saudi-supported president Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
The entire country of Yemen, and especially the capital, have been devastated by the strikes, which residents have described as sounding like the city was in the “center of an earthquake.” Around 1.5 Million people have been displaced by the attacks, with 82 percent of Yemenis in need of some form of humanitarian aid and more than half without clean drinking water.
After Operation Decisive Storm started in March, 5,700 Yemenis have been killed, with about half of them being civilians. However, the United Nations claims that 5,000 civilians have been killed by the airstrikes, with an additional 25,000 injured. Human rights organizations have claimed Saudi Arabia has constantly broken international humanitarian law. An estimated 21 million have been left without access to basic life-sustaining services.
— Naheed Mustafa (@NaheedMustafa) December 2, 2015
“Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years,” said ICRC head Peter Maurer in August.
The airstrikes have continued constantly, with the latest devastating attack occurring on November 30. The United States supplies Saudi Arabia with many of the weapons used, as Saudi Arabia is considered our “greatest ally’ in the Middle East. However. The United Kingdom is even more involved, supplying Saudi Arabia with missiles, airborne refueling, logistical support, and military intelligence.
— Manal Al-Thurairi (@ManalAlthurairi) December 1, 2015
Despite the devastation that Saudi Arabia has caused, the Houthi rebels still control the capital of Sanaa, as well as the Northern region of the country. The state government controls the southern region, led by Saudi-supported President Hadi. However, the southern government faces pressure from both the rebels, the regional Al Qaeda affiliate, and ISIL, who seek to take advantage of the area’s instability.