Yemen World Conflict Blake guy

Yemen: The 'forgotten war' cloaked in the shadow of Syria

Dozens of schools and hospitals have been bombed. Foreign powers have carried out deadly airstrikes. Political chaos has created a vacuum for militant groups like ISIS to flourish and sieges have cut off rebel-held areas from desperately needed aid

But unlike Syria, the world's gaze has largely missed a conflict that has left millions in need of aid and pushed communities to the brink of famine.

As such, many term it the "forgotten war."

"It's probably one of the biggest crises in the world but it's like a silent crisis, a silent situation and a forgotten war," UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Jamie McGoldrick told CNN.

The health service has "completely collapsed" and "children are dying silent deaths," McGoldrick said, as medical facilities continue to be bombed relentlessly

Yemen 2016

Since the conflict began in 2015, an estimated 10,000 people have been killed, according to the UN.

Harrowing photos of children wasting away are undoubtedly the most telling images of Yemen's war. UNICEF reports that 1.5 million children are currently malnourished in the country, 370,000 of them severely. On top of this, 178 schools have been attacked, according to data collected by the Yemen Post.

"The scale of suffering as a result of the ongoing conflict in Yemen is shocking. An estimated 21.2 million people, which constitutes nearly 80% of the total population, need humanitarian assistance. Almost half of those in need are children," said UNICEF Yemen Representative Meritxell Relano.

The war itself

The conflict began in early 2015, when Houthi rebels -- a minority Shia group from the north of the country -- drove out the US-backed government, led by President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and took over the capital, Sanaa.

Yemen: US military distances itself from Saudi-led campaign

Yemen is in general very poorly covered.

"It's a complicated and messy conflict, it's hard to report on well, and it's hard to find a good guy and a bad guy," said Peter Salisbury, an associate fellow from the Middle East and North Africa Program at London-based Chatham House.

"There are a lot of issues with accessibility -- it's very hard to get into Yemen during the war, and if you do, it's not the easiest environment to get around in.

"It's expensive and it's not full of freelance journalists. It's a hard to sell to editors," he said.

The Syrian conflict is of interest in the West as it has bled beyond its borders, with ISIS carrying out or inspiring attacks across Europe and spreading its influence in other Middle Eastern countries.

Lawmakers seek to stall $1B arms sale to Saudis

The UK and US have shown no sign of stopping its sale of arms to the Saudis, despite mounting pressure to do so.

"There have been one or two occasions where the British arms industry wouldn't have been able to survive if it hadn't been for massive orders from Saudi Arabia," Salisbury said.

"Basically, policymakers in the West see the world as a giant game of Risk, and they see more value to maintaining their relationship with Saudi Arabia than getting rid of bad PR over Yemen."

Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries, has been devastated by a war between forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.

More than 6,800 people have been killed and 35,000 injured since March 2015, the majority in air strikes by a Saudi-led multinational coalition that backs the president.

The conflict and a blockade imposed by the coalition have also triggered a humanitarian disaster, leaving 80% of the population in need of aid.

The Houthi movement, which champions Yemen's Zaidi Shia Muslim minority and fought a series of rebellions against Mr Saleh during the previous decade, took advantage of the new president's weakness by taking control of their northern heartland of Saada province and neighbouring areas.

Disillusioned with the transition, many ordinary Yemenis - including Sunnis - supported the Houthis and in September 2014 they entered the capital, Sanaa, setting up street camps and roadblocks


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