The ongoing aerial bombardment in Yemen by the Arab coalition headed by Saudi Arabia since last March has brought misery for the Yemenis.

The bombing has not been limited to military targets and against armed men only but often civilian areas have come under attack with the death of men, women and children and the destruction of Yemen’s infrastructure including private homes.

The United Nations says nearly 5000 people, including a vast number of civilians, have been killed in Yemen’s conflict since late March. According to UNICEF 400 children have been killed since March this year.

Advertisements

An airstrike last Monday on a wedding hall killed more than 40 people including women and children.

Amnesty International, said that all sides fighting in Yemen have left a “trail of civilian death and destruction” in the conflict, killing scores of innocent people in what could amount to war crimes.

There are up to 1.5 million internally displaced refugees in Yemen who have fled their homes.

The UN and aid groups have called repeatedly for ways to get food, fuel, medicine and other supplies into Yemen, but tight restrictions imposed by the Saudi-led coalition on air and sea transport remain in place.

Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world, and its population relies on imports for about 90 percent of its supplies. Attempts at UN-brokered humanitarian pauses to bring in aid have failed.

The latest UNICEF report says that about 10 million children, or half of the country’s population, need urgent humanitarian assistance.

Aerial bombardment of impoverished nations who can not defend themselves by the technologically advance and powerful countries has been carried out with great impunity.

First it was the Americans during the first Gulf War who subdued Saddam Hussain and liberated Kuwait, but in the process destroyed the infrastructure of an affluent nation in the Middle East.

Again during the second Gulf War, the Coalition led by US completely destroyed Iraq with weeks of aerial bombardment virtually taking it to the stone age.

Same thing was done in Afghanistan after 9/11 where the US bombed the entire length and breadth of the country by air, destroying its infrastructure as well as mountains, valleys and caves.

Copycat action was taken by Israel in its war with Lebanon, where it bombed residential areas up to Beirut and in between as a collective punishment to Lebanese civilians for standing up to Israeli hegemony in South Lebanon.

Israel has bombarded Gaza strip time and again almost into a stone age and blockades it totally thereby denying any rebuilding efforts for its inhabitants.

The fear of aerial bombardment of their palaces and skyscrapers by the mighty Israeli airforce keeps the Gulf countries’ rulers completely impotent in the face of Israeli hegemony in the area where Israel can get away with anything it chooses to do against anyone.

However lessons have not been learnt. Bombing an impoverished and defenceless enemy does not bring about peace and security but makes the world even more insecure.