French Newspaper Highlights the ‘Forgotten Tragedies’ in Yemen
"A Yemeni child under the age of five dies every 9 minutes as a result of the ongoing conflict."
The French newspaper Le Monde highlighted the Yemen war that erupted in 2014 when the Iranian-backed Houthi militia seized the capital, Sanaa, and much of the northeast of the country.
It pointed out that: "Months after the seizure, the Saudi-Emirati coalition backed by the United States intervened to expel the Houthis and restore the internationally recognized government."
"Today the war, which has resulted in the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe, has come to a standstill," Le Monde said.
On December 25, 2021, Riyadh announced that it would launch a "large-scale" military operation in Yemen, as a result of the killing of two people in an attack on Saudi Arabia that was claimed by the Houthi militia.
The Kingdom's Civil Defense stated that: "A military projectile fell on a commercial building, killing two Saudis and one Yemeni, and wounding seven civilians, including six Saudis and a Bangladeshi resident."
The Houthis said in a statement that they launched three ballistic missiles towards Saudi Arabia on December 24, 2021.
In a statement, the military spokesman for the Houthi militia, Yahya Saree, threatened Saudi Arabia with "painful operations, if it continued its aggression and crimes."
In this context, the US Embassy in Riyadh strongly condemned the horrific attack launched by the Houthis across the border on the Jazan region in Saudi Arabia, according to a statement on its Twitter account.
The embassy stated that "the Houthi attacks perpetuate the conflict, prolong the suffering of the Yemeni people, and endanger the Saudi people, along with more than 70,000 Americans residing on the kingdom's lands."
The statement called on the Houthi militia to "stop the reckless attacks on Saudi Arabia, and to engage in diplomatic efforts under the auspices of the United Nations to end the conflict and achieve peace for the Yemeni people."
Riyadh has been involved in Yemen since 2015 as the head of the coalition that supports government forces in a seven-year war against the "Houthis" backed by Iran.
Saudi Arabia has long accused Iran of providing the Houthis with advanced weapons and of training the rebels, accusations denied by Tehran.
On December 26, 2021, the spokesman for the Saudi-Emirati coalition, Turki al-Maliki, said: "We will provide evidence of the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah militia leading the Houthis in Yemen," without further details.
Al-Maliki added, during a press conference, that: "The terrorist Hezbollah bears responsibility for targeting civilians in Saudi Arabia and Yemen."
The deadly cross-border attack, which was condemned by the United States, the United Kingdom, and several Gulf states and other countries, represents an escalation in Yemen's long-running civil war.
Saudi media reported that the air strikes of the Saudi-Emirati coalition targeted Sanaa on December 24, 2021, and hit an army camp near the city center.
Houthi media said the strikes hit a populated neighborhood and damaged homes.
While the Houthis regularly launch missiles and drones at neighboring Saudi Arabia, it is the first time they target Saudi airports and oil infrastructure. Thus, this is the most fatal attack hitting the kingdom since 2018.
In response, Riyadh carried out a series of bombings northwest of the capital, Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthi militia, killing three people and wounding six others, according to many Yemeni doctors.
More recently, the fighting has intensified, with the Saudi airstrikes on Sanaa, due to which the capital’s airport, which has been under a Saudi blockade since 2016, is no longer able to accommodate the planes of humanitarian organizations and the United Nations since December 21, 2021.
The coalition said that on December 23, 2021, they attacked a Houthi camp in Sanaa.
On the same day, the US Navy announced the seizure of 1,400 AK-47 assault rifles and ammunition from a fishing boat that it said "left Iran for the Houthis."
In his traditional inventory of global conflicts on the occasion of his Christmas message, Pope Francis referred to the "enormous" and "forgotten" tragedies in Yemen and Syria.
From Saint Peter's Square in Rome, the Pope said: "We hear the cry of children rising from Yemen, where a horrific tragedy unfolds, which everyone has forgotten in silence for years, there, where people are killed every day."
According to the United Nations, the war in Yemen has claimed 377,000 lives, more than half of whom were indirect victims of the conflict, including due to lack of clean water, hunger and disease.
It added that "a Yemeni child under the age of five dies every 9 minutes as a result of the ongoing conflict."
On December 22, 2021, the United Nations said it was forced to cut food aid to Yemen due to the lack of funding with increasing hunger.
Yemen suffers from one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with about 80 percent of Yemen's population of more than 30 million people dependent on international aid.