The US must withdraw involvement in Yemen


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Annika Agni, Forum Editor

Yemen is currently experiencing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. This is due to a civil war that began when the Houthi rebel movement took control of northern provinces and the capital, exiling President Hadi. Since then, the civil war has only escalated and led to the deaths of thousands and the possibility of famine for millions in a country that was already one of the poorest in the Middle East. However, other countries like the US are involved in the fighting as well and contribute to the crisis. The US is partially complicit in Yemen’s destruction, and must make an effort to stop involvement in the conflict.

According to UNICEF, 80% of the population, or 24 million people, are in need of assistance, while over 14 million of those people are in acute need and 12 million of those people are innocent children. An estimated 2 million children don’t have access to education anymore. Additionally, a 2019 report from the UN also found that almost 10 million people face extreme levels of hunger, while almost 20 million people don’t have access to proper healthcare. Over 3 million people have been displaced, and thousands have lost their lives to the fighting that has occurred after 2015. These numbers are even more horrifying when you consider the fact that the US may have contributed to them as well.

In March 2015, the civil war in Yemen escalated when Saudi Arabia and its allies began air strikes against the Houthi rebel movement. The US, France, and Britain have supported the Saudi-led coalition and have been supplying them with many of the very weapons that have caused destruction in Yemen and killed countless innocent people. They continue to do so even after evidence that Saudi Arabia routinely strikes civilian targets such as hospitals and schools.Because of this, a report from the UN Human Rights Council found that the US, France, and Britain may be guilty of war crimes.

What is even more concerning is that Saudi Arabia has also been recruiting thousands of Yemeni children to fight at its southern border, and the US still maintains close ties to Saudi Arabia.  The US should not be aiding Saudi Arabia, especially when it is undeniable that this aid will be directly responsible for the deaths of innocents. The US is essentially helping Saudi Arabia to kill civilians by providing weapons, logistics, and finances. Both the Senate and the House gained approval  to end American involvement in Yemen in April of last year, but President Trump vetoed this measure and instead continues to aid Saudi Arabia.

Our government’s actions give off the impression that the innocent people of Yemen are simply not a priority, but the rest of the country should be more aware about how America is contributing to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Powerful countries like the US should not be supporting the air strikes of schools and hospitals at the expense of innocent civilians, but rather should be the ones helping the millions of  people caught in the crossfire. It is imperative that the US withdraws support to Yemen before it is too late for millions of people, because the people of Yemen cannot afford America’s actions for much longer.