The Economist reports on the continuing deterioration of conditions in Yemen:
Aden was meant to be the exemplar of a “liberated” Yemen. Instead it serves as a terrible warning. The region around it is armed to the teeth. But when the Houthis pulled out, so too did the state security forces. The government in exile of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi made a show of returning in September, but quickly scurried back to Saudi Arabia after failing to assert itself [bold mine-DL]. Local fighters, representing a hodgepodge of interests, have been left to their own devices. “No one is handling law and order,” says Mohammed Albasha of the Navanti Group, a research firm. Services have also broken down. Aden is now said to be awash in sewage.
This is what the rest of Yemen has to look forward to even if the Saudi-led coalition “wins”: disorder and disease. Considering the inability of Hadi’s government to reestablish itself in the south even after the Saudis and Emiratis pushed the Houthis out, the folly of fighting an atrocious war for the sake of reinstalling Hadi in the capital is undeniable. Yemen has been devastated in the name of reimposing an unwanted president who becomes daily less popular as the campaign to put him back in power claims more lives and inflicts additional unnecessary suffering.
One of the many disastrous effects of the war has been the escalating failure of the country’s health services. A new article from The Guardian details the damage:
An acute shortage of medication, supplies and staff is compounding damage by airstrikes, and forcing Yemen’s doctors to turn away patients in dire need of treatment.
A main reason for the lack of medication is the continuing Saudi-led blockade that has cut Yemen off from most of its commercial imports. As it is, nearly a quarter of all medical facilities in the country are no longer functioning, and the longer the conflict and blockade drag on the higher that figure will climb. Deprived of much-needed medicine on the one hand, the country’s doctors are also facing an exodus of specialists and staff:
While hospitals can’t seem to get drugs into the country, they have the opposite problem with staff. Nearly all foreigners, including medical personnel, have left Yemen.
Mughalis said he had lost 400 staff members since the bombing began in March, including a lot of foreign expertise. “Nurses and doctors, including anaesthesiologists, heart and kidney specialists have left … This has caused a lot of confusion.”
All of this is being done to the civilian population of Yemen because of Saudi paranoia about Iran and the recklessness of the new leadership in Riyadh. The intervention is entirely indefensible, but the U.S. has enabled this intervention from the beginning.