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Yemen Is Being Strangled to Death

The Saudi-led coalition bombed Sanaa’s international airport and rendered it unusable for humanitarian aid flights:

Air raids destroyed radio navigation station for aircraft, civil aviation authorities told SABA, which is controlled by the Houthis.

Air traffic in Sanaa’s airport is currently restricted to flights carrying humanitarian aid sent by the United Nations and other international organizations.

Oxfam’s Scott Paul explains the implications of this attack:

If it wasn’t already obvious, the Saudi-led coalition has confirmed with this latest attack that they are deliberately trying to strangle the civilian population by depriving them of essential food and medicine. Despite reports that the coalition was willing to open some ports in areas they control, the U.N. said today that there is no evidence that any of the ports are being reopened:

The United Nations says there’s “no indication” a Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Shiite rebels is lifting its blockade of Yemeni airports and sea ports as it announced the previous day.

Even if the coalition reopens some ports in other parts of the country, those other ports can’t take in as much as the main port at Hodeidah. Transporting goods overland from other ports will make food and medicine prohibitively costly for an already impoverished population. Nawal al-Maghafi detailed why this is the case:

If Hodeidah remains closed, it won’t matter if the coalition opens the others, because there will still be massive loss of life from starvation. Unless the blockade is lifted very soon, the Saudis and their allies will be the authors of the worst famine in decades, and they will have done it with Washington’s blessing.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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