by Khadijah Ali (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 1, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1438)
More than 12,000 people have been killed in Yemen, most of them civilians, by the Saudi-led war. Damage to infrastructure is also immense. By attacking Yemen, the Bani Saud may have dug their own grave.
It is almost two years since Bani Saud launched their genocidal war on Yemen, the poorest country in the Muslim East (aka the Middle East). The result has been disastrous for the Yemeni people as the latest report by Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development (LCRD) shows. Released on February 23, the report by the independent monitoring group found that the Saudi-led campaign had resulted in 12,041 civilian deaths since March 26, 2015. Of these, 2,568 were children and 1,870 women.
Other statistics are equally horrendous. The Saudis have shown scant regard for distinguishing between military and civilian targets. In fact, the few military targets the Saudis could find — or were located for them by their British and American masters — were bombed and destroyed in the first month of their genocidal war. Thereafter, they have targeted civilian infrastructure — hospitals, factories, schools and homes. In addition to the large number of civilian deaths, the number of those injured stand at 20,001, including 2,354 children and 1,960 women, while more than four million others have been displaced.
The LCRD report further revealed that Saudi strikes had razed 270 medical centers, 25 media institutes, more than 402,076 houses and 706 masjids. Some of these structures, especially hospitals, have been bombed five or six times resulting in further casualties among those already injured by earlier Saudi attacks.
The Najdi Bedouins have used planes, missiles and artillery in their indiscriminate attacks on Yemen. All these weapons are American and British supplied. America’s Nobel Peace Prize winning President Barack Obama with always a broad smile on his face, grinning from ear-to-ear, had supplied $115 billion worth of weapons including cluster bombs to Bani Saud during his eight-year reign. The Najdi Bedouins have used these indiscriminately, the results of which are visible enough for all to see.
Furthermore, Bani Saud and their allies — the Americans, British, and others — have also blockaded Yemen, preventing any food or medicine from reaching the people. The result, according to UNICEF reports, is that 18.8 million of Yemen’s 24 million people are severely malnourished. Lack of medicines is also killing people, especially children.
The Najdi Bedouins’ ostensible reason for launching the war on their southern neighbor was to reinstall the former president, ‘Abd Rabbou Mansur Hadi, a fugitive who fled the country to hide in Saudi Arabia. The other reason was to furbish the macho image of the young Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Muhammad bin Salman whose only credential for occupying these posts and a host of others was that he was the son of the king! Victory in Yemen was supposed to be a feather in his cap. Instead, it has become an albatross around his neck. Even Saudi generals have admitted that they have gotten stuck in a quagmire. Even if they want to, the Saudis cannot end the war because the Yemeni forces refuse to surrender despite facing enormous odds.
With the new occupant (Donald Trump) in the White House, the Americans have become even more belligerent. As if midair refueling for Saudi warplanes and intelligence information for targets were not enough, Trump ordered a Navy Seal attack on Yemen on January 30th. This was Trump’s first bloodletting operation after taking office but it won’t be the last.
The midnight Navy Seals’ attack left 24 civilians, mostly women and children dead and scores injured. Among the dead was Nawwar al-‘Awlaqi, the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-‘Awlaqø, an American citizen who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011. Two weeks later, his 16-year-old American-born son ‘Abd al-Rahman and his 17-year-old cousin, were also murdered by a missile fired from a drone.
Some American critics including Senator John McCain called the January 30 attack in Yemen a “failure” because it not only did not result in the killing of al-Qaeda operatives, the alleged targets of the attack, but also resulted in the death of Navy Seal Ryan Owen, not to mention causing excessive civilian casualties euphemistically called “collateral damage.” Even the Yemeni puppet government was forced to call on the UN to stop any further US attacks on Yemen. Given American gangsterism, Washington will pay no heed to any calls from the UN for restraint in Yemen.
Instead of apologizing for killing innocent civilians in Yemen, the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lashed out at critics of the attack. He demanded an apology to Ryan Owens, the soldier killed in Yemen, and insisted, “It’s absolutely a success, and I think anyone that would suggest [the raid is] not a success does a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens.”
Let us return to the story of Nawwar al-‘Awlaqi whose life was snuffed out at the tender age of 8. She was hit twice in the neck by bullets fired from close range by a “brave” American soldier carrying out his duty to make “America safe from terrorists.” She lay bleeding for two hours without receiving any medical help before she died.
Did the Navy Seal who pulled the trigger from close range not know that he was killing a child in cold blood? Was the shooting intentional? It cannot be ruled out because during his bid for the presidency, Trump had repeatedly stressed that a sure-fire strategy for defeating the terrorists had to involve eliminating their families as well as the terrorists themselves. This is what he said, “When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives. Don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families.”
If allowed to live, Nawwar might have become a terrorist and killed Americans in a suicide attack. It was, therefore, essential to eliminate her before she posed a threat to Americans even if she had no chance of ever setting foot on US soil. Perhaps who she was — the daughter of Anwar al-‘Awlaqi — also marked Nawwar as a target for elimination.
Nawwar, however, is not alone. She joins a long list of other children that have been murdered by US missiles, bombs, and bullets in America’s relentless “war on terror” that is essentially a war on Islam. That America and its regional puppet Saudi Arabia are involved in war crimes against innocent civilians is indisputable. Even the UN has said that they may be guilty of war crimes.
What is needed is to bring these war criminals to justice. That will not happen as long as Bani Saudi continue to remain in power in the sacred territory of the Arabian Peninsula. Overthrow of the Najdi Bedouins is, therefore, an essential first step along the way to reclaiming the Arabian holy land from the clutches of these tribalist corrupters.
Bani Saud’s ill-conceived war on Yemen may yet prove their undoing. If it should come to pass, the sacrifices of the Yemeni people would not have been in vain. They would have done the suffering Muslim Ummah a huge favor.