By Nick Clark
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British state backs murder in Yemen

Issue 2789
People clearing rubble

The aftermath of another Saudi bombing in Yemen in 2015 (Pic: VOA/wikimedia commons)

Airstrikes by a British‑backed military killed more than 70 ­people—including at least three children—in Yemen last week.

The coalition, led by British ally Saudi Arabia, killed three children playing football in an airstrike on a telecommunications centre in Yemen’s main port city Hodeidah. 
 
Another airstrike on a prison in the city of Sa’ada killed 70 people and wounded 138 people more.
 
The medical charity Doctors Without Borders reported that the airstrike left the local hospital “so ­overwhelmed that they can’t take any more patients.”
 
Meanwhile, the strike on the telecommunications buildings left most of Yemen without internet for several days.
 
It’s a blow to the ­hundreds of thousands of people already suffering after more than seven years of war brought on them by the West’s allies.
 
Majid Abdullah, a resident of Yemen’s capital Sanaa, said the internet outage left him unable to receive ­desperately needed money from relatives abroad.
 
“I don’t know what to do. We eat and drink from the money sent by expatriates abroad,” he said.
 
The airstrikes come after the rebel Houthi movement, launched a rocket attack on the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the Saudi coalition.
 
Saudi Arabia began the war on Yemen after a Houthi uprising in 2015.
 
The Houthis are backed by Iran—Saudi Arabia’s and the West’s regional rival—and control much of the west of Yemen including Hodeidah and the capital Sanaa.
 
The coalition’s blockade on Hodeidah has pushed ­millions of people in Yemen into starvation. The World Food Programme warned last September that five million people in Yemen were on the bring of famine and 16 ­million people were “marching towards starvation.”
 
Saudi-led airstrikes have also killed more than 100,000 people including at least 12,000 civilians.
 
It is armed in part by Britain, which has sold it more than £20 billion worth of military equipment since its war began in 2015.
The Tory government was forced to pause arms sales to Saudi Arabia briefly in 2019.
 
A high court ruling said that sales were unlawful because the government hadn’t assessed whether ­previous sales had been used in breaches of humanitarian law.
 
Yet just months later, top Tory Liz Truss—then trade minister—resumed sales once again.
 
That means Saudi Arabia and its allies can keep ­bombing Yemen—and keep killing children—with the support of Britain.

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