Issued by the Office of the Chairperson
International League of Peoples´ Struggle
June 19, 2018
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), join the people of the world and all anti-imperialist and democratic forces in demanding a stop to the US-supported war of aggression by Saudi Arabia against Yemen and call for letting the Yemeni people to decide their own destiny.
We are deeply saddened by the terrible humanitarian crisis that continues to afflict millions of Yemenis as a result of the war of aggression. The horrible destruction of the country and widespread suffering of the people have been largely played down by the Western mainstream media and Western governments that are complicit in the criminal war.
In mid-April this year, an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a wedding party in northern Yemen that killed at least 20 people including the bride. Another airstrike hit a house in Hajja killing an entire family of five. In the same week, at least 20 civilians were killed when coalition fighter jets bombed a bus carrying commuters in western Yemen.
The Saudi-led coalition is currently carrying out a massive air, land and sea offensive to retake the Houthi-controlled Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, one of the last remaining points of entry of food, medicines, and other essential humanitarian aid into the country.
The Saudi Arabia aggression started in March 2015 to re-install the puppet regime of Abed-Rabbu Mansour Hadi which was overthrown by Houthi rebels that seized Sana’a, the Yemeni capital in 2014. The rebellion is supported by the broad masses of the Yemeni people who have been subjected to decades of oppression by dictators supported by the US and Saudi Arabia.
Since 2015, Saudi Arabia and close ally United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been conducting an air war against one of the poorest nations in the Middle East. In these bombing raids, Saudi Arabia has used banned chemical weapons and cluster bombs provided by the US and the United Kingdom (UK). The UAE has sent in troops to fight the Houthis on the ground. France provides Leclerc main battle tanks that are used by the UAE army.
Saudi Arabia and UAE have bombed residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and water and sewage facilities. They have imposed a naval and air blockade on the ports of Yemen preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the Yemeni war victims. A human rights organization has scored the use of “starvation of civilians as a weapon of warfare” calling it “genocide by deprivation”, a war crime.
After three years of Saudi Arabia’s war of aggression, it is estimated that out of a population of 27.4 million, 22.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, 17 million lack food, 14.8 million have no access to basic healthcare, 4.5 million children are suffering from malnourishment, while 2.9 million people have been internally displaced.
According to reliable sources, at least 70,000 have been killed by bombing alone. This number does not include an estimated one hundred thousand more who have starved or died from easily preventable diseases.
Doctors Without Borders says it has treated 66,000 people for war related injuries. The Saudi Arabia war of aggression has caused mass starvation and a cholera epidemic not witnessed in any part of the world in the last 50 years. Last December, Save the Children estimated that 50,000 Yemeni children under the age of 5 could die by year’s end. The United Nations had earlier declared a Level 3 humanitarian emergency—the highest level possible.
The horrific humanitarian crisis has been largely ignored by the western mainstream media, serving as an adjunct of the Washington’s war machine that has destroyed countries and killed millions in the desperate and futile effort of the US to stop its strategic decline from an unchallenged global hegemony in the 1990s. The US is now in its post-primacy period, as the Pentagon has already admitted.
Yemen is important to US imperialism because of its strategic location. It wants to maintain control of Bab Al-Mandeb Strait near the Gulf of Aden which is a choke point for international trade and energy shipments that connects the Persian Gulf via the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea. It is also important for Israel for access by its submarines to the Persian Gulf via the Indian Ocean from the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea.
The US maintains Camp Lemonnier, a United States Naval Expeditionary Base, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) of the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) at the nearby country of Djibouti. The base is at the center of a US drone and surveillance network that stretches across Africa. It also serves as a hub for US aerial operations in the Persian Gulf region.
The US is obsessed with global hegemony because of profits generated from economic territory by US monopoly firms in general as well as from military sales by its military-industrial complex through the policy of unending wars. U.S. arms sales to the Middle East soared during the tenure of President Obama and reached more than $40 billion in 2012, compared with just over $10 billion under George W. Bush. The $60.7 billion worth of weapons under the Obama regime went mostly to Saudi Arabia (67 percent) and the UAE (21 percent), the two main aggressors in Yemen. Among those weapons were cluster bombs, which Saudi Arabia has deployed against Yemen’s civilian communities.
Trump has continued Obama’s policies. In his visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017, Trump signed a weapons agreement worth $110 billion. Part of the deal was for Saudi Arabia to buy about $7 billion worth of precision guided munitions from U.S. defense contractors.
The unending wars perpetrated principally by US imperialism coupled with the pro-war propaganda spewed out daily by the Western mainstream media have unfortunately led to a certain numbness in many peoples’ minds that blunts their sensitivity to the widespread human suffering generated by those wars.
There is an urgent need for all anti-imperialist and democratic forces to intensify all efforts at exposing the crimes of the imperialists, principally the US imperialists, with all means available and mobilize the broad masses of the people against wars of aggression and related crimes of the imperialists.
The people of the world must with all their strength demand the immediate stop to US-supported Saudi Arabia war of aggression against Yemen. They must press the governments and official international bodies to respect the sovereignty of the Yemeni nation and allow the people to decide on their own destiny without outside interference. ###