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The Disastrous Saudi Coalition Attack on Hodeidah Continues

In the last six weeks, the Saudi coalition attack on Hodeidah has forced [1] more than 100,000 Yemenis to flee their homes:

More than 121,000 people have fled from Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah amidst a barrage of airstrikes from the Saudi-led coalition, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported Wednesday.

Since June 1, the fight has displaced 17,350 households, according to the report.

The attack on Hodeidah has slowed as coalition forces have run into more resistance than they anticipated, but there are still huge numbers of civilians being displaced by the fighting. The people displaced by the attack on Hodeidah are in greater danger because of insufficient food and water, but the conditions for those that remain are also deteriorating. Oxfam issued [2] a warning about the situation there last week:

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“The fate of 600,000 people hangs in the balance,” said Muhsin Siddiquey, Oxfam’s Country Director in Yemen. “Slowly but surely the city is being squeezed and the real fear is that this is merely a precursor to an onslaught that will lead to widespread loss of life.

“Hudaydah cannot be allowed to become a graveyard. There is still time to stop this destruction. One of our biggest fears is an outbreak of cholera. Hudaydah was a cholera hot spot last year and a repeat would be devastating for the people there.

Pressing ahead with an attack on Hodeidah would have disastrous consequences for the civilian population of the city and the surrounding area, and it would threaten the lives of millions more people that rely on the port. The U.S. is supporting the attack after saying for years that it would not allow it, and in doing so it has once again proven to the coalition governments that there is nothing they can do that will jeopardize U.S. military assistance for this war. It is imperative that Congress press the administration to change its position on this offensive, and Congress must cut off all U.S. assistance to the Saudi coalition.

3 Comments (Open | Close)

3 Comments To "The Disastrous Saudi Coalition Attack on Hodeidah Continues"

#1 Comment By Sid Finster On July 10, 2018 @ 2:10 pm

Congress has no interest in issues of morality such as those they you pose, only in issues of power and money, and you know it. Such is the nature of Empire.

I find myself, like Cassandra, forced once again to post this:

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“A wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf’s right to eat him. He thus addressed him: “Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me.”

“Indeed,” bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, “I was not then born.”

Then said the Wolf, “You feed in my pasture.”

“No, good sir,” replied the Lamb, “I have not yet tasted grass.”

Again said the Wolf, “You drink of my well.”

“No,” exclaimed the Lamb, “I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother’s milk is both food and drink to me.”

Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, “Well! I won’t remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations.”

Moral: The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.”

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For a few more years, the US will have absolute power over other people and we will use that power in an absolutely corrupt way at the behest of our overlords in Riyadh and Jerusalem. When retribution finally comes our way, no one will shed a tear for us.

Nor should they, for long we have done but little that is good and much that is evil.

#2 Comment By b. On July 10, 2018 @ 3:21 pm

The “coalition” is using deniable proxies such as Saleh dead-enders, and mercenaries, to push into Hodeidah. It is not clear whether or not they expected, much less expect to drive out the Houthi, but that was besides the point before their offensive began. Saudi Arabia appears to run out of resources and time, and while Hodeidah is far from being the last stand of the Houthi, it might be the last push the UAE and Saudi Arabia are capable of supporting in the near future.

The suffering of the population is not a “side effect” of this offensive, but its sole purpose. Saudi Arabia has attempted to use bombs, UAE troops and hirelings, and now the UN to pressure the Houthi into “surrender”, and blockade and bombings have from the beginning taken the captive population hostage. The UAE might have signed up for an annexation of parts of Yemeni territory, for Saudi Arabia, the only way a USAF-style “death from above” campaign of “strategic” bombing could have succeeded is by collective punishment. The destruction is not indiscriminate, it is targeted to cause the maximum amount of civilian suffering.

For all we know, the UAE did not expect its hired guns to even advance as far as they did towards Hodeidah. It is sufficient that the roads out of the city are choked, and if the port can be damaged or flow of food and aid can otherwise be reduced or cut off, then the coalition offensive will have “succeeded” – as even the US and the UN understood from the beginning. The only questions are, will the coalition be successful in cutting off food and aid, and will the resulting suffering do anything to the Houthi refusal to surrender.

One final question is, why would anybody, including Saudi Arabia, pretend to expect that a Houthi surrender would be “permanent, irreversible and verifiable”? They might not be able to hide the tanks, but then, they did not start out with any the last time. Yemen can no more be “pacified at gunpoint” than Iraq could be “liberated” from its colonial legacy and petty thugs by means of an illegal US invasion and occupation.

#3 Comment By Christian Chuba On July 11, 2018 @ 8:10 am

It’s hard to get details on the status of the battle but the offensive is clearly dead in the water.

The thing I have been anticipating is an end stage bombing of the port before a withdrawal followed by lies, supported by our Administration, blaming it on the Houthis. I don’t know if it has come to that yet. Southfront and Fars are the only two sources that I trust at this point for news on Yemen. If anyone else has more sources, let me know.