The Civilians Trapped In the Middle of Yemen’s Catastrophic War | VICE on HBO

“If you survived the mines, you’d get killed by a sniper,” said Khaled Ahyaf, a Doctor at a child malnutrition clinic in Eastern Yemen, barely a mile from an active frontline, explaining why he can’t get desperately needed supplies. “We’re living on the last 5%,” said Nabat Sulaiman, a nurse, “we only do the limited work we can do. We beg them, try to make peace.”

They were surrounded by tiny, emaciated and wailing babies, just some of the 20 million people now facing famine due to the war in Yemen.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been fighting for four years in an attempt to defeat the Houthi rebels, who they see as Iranian proxies. But there is no victory in sight, various efforts at a peace deal have failed and the war, being waged with US supplied weapons and equipment, grinds on. Air-strikes, landmines, rag-tag militias who use child soldiers and widespread blockades of food and aid have made this the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

VICE News travelled to Yemen in October 2019 to report on the civilians who are being hit the hardest, the brave volunteers risking their lives to save them and the motley crew of U.S.-backed fighters , who want a fight to the finish, regardless of the costs.

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Boys fight alongside men in Yemen war

(19 Dec 2018) An AP investigation has found that thousands of children have been recruited by Yemen’s Houthi rebels to fight in the country’s civil war. Boys describe being thrown into the heat of battle, amid bombardment and airstrikes, watching friends die. (Dec.19)

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Hodeida port must go to government: Yemen FM

Yemen’s foreign minister says the rebel-held port of Hodeida must be handed over to the government, amid UN-brokered talks on the conflict between the government and Houthi insurgents. SOUNDBITE

Victims recount torture by Yemeni rebels

(7 Dec 2018) More than 1,000 cases of torture of detainees by Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been documented by the Abductees’ Mothers Union. The Associated Press interviewed some of the victims and their families who escaped from Houthi-controlled territory (Dec. 7)

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Yemen’s Bloody War Could Get A Lot Worse (HBO)

At least 450 Yemenis have been killed in the first nine days of August, making it one of the bloodiest periods since the war broke out three and a half years ago. And it could get a lot worse.

An international coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and backed by the United States, is preparing to retake the strategic port city of Hodeidah. The operation could prove disastrous for Yemen’s most vulnerable: Seventy percent of all of Yemen’s goods enter into the country through Hodeidah, so a protracted battle could quickly turn into a humanitarian disaster, which prevents millions of people from receiving food and aid.

The UN is desperately trying to stop this attack and restart failed peace talks in the process. Its Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, is hoping to bring all sides together in Geneva on September 6.

Yet, government troops continue to advance towards the city.

“It’s going to be a fierce battle,” 23 year-old fighter Saeed, told VICE News. “The Houthis have big military capabilities — but we are advancing towards Hodeidah.”

VICE News embedded with Yemeni troops as they prepared to retake a crucial Houthi supply route, just 90 minutes from the city. But even a seemingly straightforward operation like this one descended into chaos. It wasn’t long into the advance that Saeed and several men found themselves cut off from their convoy, trapped by Houthi sniper fire. They were forced to run for cover before eventually making their escape.

“They must’ve known about our attack,” he says, as mortar fire rages around us.

A battle in Hodeidah city itself would be one of the deadliest in a war that has already claimed more than ten thousand lives and thrust 23 million more into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis . More than 120,000 civilians have fled the city in anticipation. It’s easy to see why. Not long after government forces started their push, ambulances began rolling up outside the one semi-functioning hospital in the area.

Ten-year-old Mohammed becomes the first civilian to be caught up in the crossfire. Ali Jalmoud says his son was playing in their house with a Houthi mortar hit. Dr. Mahdi Ba-Kather is the one remaining doctor in a local hospital and he’s struggling to cope with the influx of casualties. Mohammed has several shrapnel wounds — one’s hit an artery and staff are trying desperately to control the bleeding.

“We’re tying it tight to stop it” Dr. Ba-Kather explained to Mohammed as he uses gauze as a makeshift tourniquet. Lacking basic supplies or a qualified surgeon, all he can do is triage Mohammed and send him to another hospital three hours away in the hopes he survives the journey.

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US Shows Iranian Missile Parts Fired From Yemen

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley says “undeniable” evidence proves that Iran is violating international law by funneling missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen. Haley Thursday unveiled recently declassified evidence to prove the US’s assertions. (Dec. 14)

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