Yemen war: What is happening in Yemen and why is Saudi Arabia at war with them? – The Sun

A BRUTAL civil war raging in Yemen has claimed more than 16,000 lives and left 13million people on the brink of starvation.

The conflict has been dubbed a "proxy war" among competing powers in the Middle East as a Saudi-led coalition battles rebels backed by Iran. Here's the latest.

Why is there a war in Yemen?

The fighting can be traced back to the handover of power from long-time autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh to his deputy and current president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in November 2011.

Saleh was forced to stand down in a bid to return stability to the country following the Arab Spring, a series of uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa.

As president, Mr Hadi struggled to deal with a variety of problems, including attacks by jihadists as well as corruption, unemployment and food insecurity.

Meanwhile, the Houti movement took advantage of the new president's weakness by taking control of the country's northern heartland of Saada province and neighbouring areas.

Many ordinary  Yeminis – who were unhappy at the transition between presidents – supported the Houthis.

In late 2014 and early 2015, the rebels – who are loyal to Saleh – gradually took over the capital Sanaa, before attempting to take control of the entire country, which led to Hadi fleeing the country in March 2015.

How is Saudi Arabia involved in the war?

In January 2015,  Houthi rebels – Shiite Muslims backed by Iran – seized control of the much of the country including the capital Sana'a.

Hadi was put under house arrest but managed to escape to safety in Saudi Arabia before returning to recaptured Aden.

His government is still internationally recognised.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-majority nations are supporting government forces in the bloody civil war.

Tribal groups seeking autonomy have also become embroiled in the conflict.

And US forces are reported to be in Yemen targeting Al-Qaeda fighters.

Saudi Arabia has been fiercely criticised for launching air strikes which have killed or maimed thousands of civilians.

In August 2018 around 40 schoolboys aged six to 11 were killed when a laser-guided bomb hit their bus in the Houthi-controlled north.

How many people have been killed in the crisis?

The UN had verified the deaths of at least 7,500 civilians by September 2019, with most caused by Saudi-led coalition air strikes.

However, monitoring groups believe the death toll is far higher. IN October last year, the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) said it had recorded more than 100,000 deaths, including 12,0000 civilians killed in direct attacks.

More than 23,000 fatalities were reported in 2019.

According to the Yemen Data Project, more than 17,500 civilians have been killed and injured since 2015 – with a quarter of all civilians killed in air raids said to be women and children.

Has Yemen been affected by coronavirus?

Yes. As of Monday, 16 June, Yemen has recorded 208 coronavirus-related deaths pandemic.

The country’s national committee against the virus confirmed the total number of infections stands at 844, while the number of recoveries reached 79.

The first case of infection was detected on April 10.

Yemen's supreme national emergency committee for COVID-19 said on Twitter: "The first confirmed case of coronavirus has been reported in Hadramout province."

International health officials have said Yemen's population could be extremely vulnerable to an outbreak.

It would be difficult to detect the outbreak in the country as Yemen's health infrastructure has been destroyed by years of civil war.

Is there a famine in Yemen?

Yemen, the Gulf's poorest nation, has been torn apart by the conflict.

Supplies of basic goods and humanitarian aid have been halted by forces battling control of the strategic port in Hodeidah.

Violence has forced farmers to abandon their crops, and hospitals have been overwhelmed by sick, wounded and malnourished children.

Hadramout province has seen some of the worst pockets of malnutrition and disease in the war-torn country.

Many displaced people, returnees, refugees and asylum seekers are now reliant on regular humanitarian aid to survive, according to the UN.

Approximately 80 percent of Yemen's population, or 24 million people, rely on aid, and 10 million are facing famine.

According to charity Save the Children, 12.3 million children – 0r 93% -need humanitarian assistance and protection.

The charity says 1 in 5 of children have lost their homes, while 70% don't have access to clean water and sanitation
A further 7.4 million children are in need of child protection assistance, while 2 million children are out of school.

 

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