YEMENI families are starving with nothing to eat but leaves as Saudi Arabia steps up its deadly bombing campaign using British bombs and missiles to slaughter Yemeni men, women and children.
Mothers are picking leaves from the local Halas vine, and boiling them into a sour, acidic green paste as they attempt to keep their starving children alive.
Walid al-Shamshan, head of the Health Ministry’s nutrition section in Hajjah, said the province had seen 17,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition in the first six months of 2018. ‘Deaths happen in remote villages where people can’t reach the health units,’ Shamshan said. ‘It’s a steady deterioration and it’s scary.’
UNICEF says 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished in Yemen. Saudi Arabia and its allies, backed. armed and equipped by the UK and the USA launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the Houthi people.
The Western-backed offensive, initially a bombing campaign, was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen. An estimated 8.4 million Yemenis are on the verge of starvation while almost 18 million lack access to good, nutritious food.
The US and the UK are also insisting that their allies support the Saudi war against the Yemeni people. The Spanish government has cancelled its earlier decision not to supply 400 laser guided bombs to Saudi Arabia and has announced that it will now honour its contract. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell cancelled an earlier decision by the Spanish Defence Ministry to halt the deal.
‘The decision is that these bombs will be delivered to honour a contract that comes from 2015, and was made by the previous government,’ Borrell announced.
The about-face is the result of pressure from the US, UK and Riyadh regimes. Saudi Arabia is now demanding that Spain must honour a $2.2-billion contract to build five Corvette warships at the Spanish state-owned military shipbuilder Navantia. These ships are part of the Saudi regime’s war preparations against Iran.
However, the situation in the Middle East and the Gulf is changing rapidly as shown by the Syrian people’s heroic defence of their country against the imperialist powers and Islamists. Yesterday Syrians were voting in the country’s first local elections since 2011 in a sign of ‘returning security and normalcy’ after years of fighting foreign-backed Islamists. Polling stations opened at 7am local time (0400 GMT) yesterday and closed at 7pm local time (1600 GMT).
More than 40,000 candidates vied for 18,478 seats across all provinces, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported. ‘Voting centres opened for citizens to cast their ballots to elect their representatives in the local administrative councils,’ the report confirmed.
State television proudly broadcast footage of voters in the cities of Damascus, Tartus and Latakia taking part in the elections.
The elections are being held at a time when Syrian army troops and allied fighters have taken back control of 80% of their country and are poised to liberate Idlib, to complete their victory, despite all of the imperialist threats that are continuing to be made against them. The successful defence of their country by the Syrian people is inspiring the masses of the Yemen and the Palestinian people to step up their fight for freedom from occupation and for their own states.
UK workers and the workers of Europe and the USA must give their full support to the masses of the Middle East and the Gulf. They must launch political strikes to bring down their governments, to halt the supplies of wmds to Saudi Arabia, and to give every support needed to the Palestinian people’s struggle for their state with Jerusalem as its capital and to a Yemen free from Saudi oppression. In particular, the workers of the UK must join this fight. There is not a moment to lose!