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Yemen: 17 Million People Threatened with Starvation by Saudi War

March 23, 2017 (EIRNS)—U.N. aid agencies are warning that Yemen is "at the point of no return" as some 17 million people (out of a total population of 28 million) are facing severe food shortages. A total of 6.8 million people are deemed to be in a state of emergency one step from famine on the five-point integrated food security phase classification (IPC), the standard international measure—with a further 10.2 million in crisis, reports the Guardian. Taiz and Hodeidah governorates, home to almost 25% of Yemen’s population and the scene of intense conflict since the outbreak of civil war in 2015, are at particularly heightened risk of famine. "We keep on talking about a country that’s on the brink of famine, but for me these numbers highlight that we’re at the point of no return," said Mark Kaye, Save the Children’s Yemen spokesperson.

"If things are not done now we are going to be looking back on this and millions of children will have starved to death, and we’ll all have been aware of this for some time."

According to the Guardian, the Saudi excuse for not opening the ports, particularly the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, where 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports entered the country prior to the war, is to keep Iranian arms out. "They are using the port as a military base to import guns, and rockets," one Saudi source said, though no evidence of this has been presented. In any case, the complaint about Iranian arms becomes an excuse to allow millions of Yemenis to starve to death, deaths that could otherwise easily be prevented.

A U.S. News/Al-Monitor article from two years ago, when the Saudis began their aggression with Obama’s support, shows that the same legislators who are now leading the chorus of fake-news attacks against the President, were then in the lead for this genocidal war. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) issued a joint statement which said,

"Saudi Arabia and our Arab partners deserve our support as they seek to restore order in Yemen, which has collapsed into civil war.... We understand why our Saudi and other Arab partners felt compelled to take action. The prospect of radical groups like Al-Qaeda, as well as Iranian-backed militants, finding safe haven on the border of Saudi Arabia was more than our Arab partners could withstand."

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said the Obama Administration had "made the right decision" in supporting the Saudi war.