Newsletter 17

Statistical data of the bomb war

A recently published, independent and unbiased investigation rendered horrific results in respect of victims and damage of the bomb war brought about by the Saudi alliance, not to be attributed to the military sector but concerning civilians and the civil infrastructure. This investigation, based on open-source information and in situ inspection, confirmed that more than 8.600 airstrikes were flown by the Saudi coalition between end of March 2015, the commencement of the bomb war, and end of August 2016.  3.577 thereof hit military plants and 3.158 non-military targets. In 1.882 cases it was not possible to ascertain whether the targets had been military or civilian.

The number of victims during this period has been quoted as exceeding 10.000, with more than 3.799 civilian victims. Human Rights Organisations repeatedly documented violations on the part of the Houthis, in particular the use of landmines and the indiscriminate shelling of living quarters, and have disclosed that the Yemeni population has been suffering from severe injuries committed by all sides, and continues to be attacked.

The Yemen Data Project covers exclusively the investigation of airstrikes and their consequences and refrained from a survey of victims in ground battles since reliable and complete evidence cannot be obtained as access to front lines is denied.

In the investigation carried out insight was gained that above all the repeated attacks on unmistakably civilian targets cannot be justified. Collateral damage might be explained by erroneous controlling or wrong logistics, or – in densely populated areas such as in Sana´a – by proximity to military targets, but the repeated bombing of schools and hospitals does not allow such a justification and requires more precise examinations.

The map of the air raids of the Saudi Alliance registered shows that above all the tribal region of the Houthis in the North, in Sana´a and environment and Taizz, and, until July 2015, Aden were most afflicted. 942 attacks hit residential areas, 114 markets, 34 Mosques, 147 schools, 46 universities and 378 transport routes or vehicles.

Opposition against the participation of their respective governments in this bomb war has started seething for quite some time in Great Britain and the US. Parliamentary opposition against approved supplies of arms, in particular of bombs to Saudi Arabia, has recently increased too.

Tribal gathering in Arhab

Armed disputes on Yemeni territory are, at the time being, concentrated in areas north and east of Sana´a and Taizz. A tribal gathering has been convened in the fought-over area of Arhab for the purpose of obtaining the loyalty of the tribal fighters for the “national” victory and against the hostile “Saudi invaders”. The tribal fighters are rewarded with food contingents and cash and are not considered as mercenaries or legionaries in the context of this agreement but as professional warriors under certain conditions committing themselves publicly to a matter.

The Houthis collect cash from the population in order to finance the pay for the tribal fighters, contributions more or less voluntarily given. Cash is increasingly in short supply in Yemen since Saudi Arabia attempts, having called in the exiled president Hadi, after destroying the infrastructure, besieging and starving out the population, eventually also to paralyse the central bank in order to bring whatever economic activity for millions of people to a standstill.

An exiled government and “liberated” areas

In the course of the past days, exiled president Hadi, speaking from Ryadh, instructed the members of his government, to engage efficiently in the reconstruction and improvement of living conditions in the “liberated” areas. This meets with surprise in the country: “where are the “liberated” areas”? And where is the government to implement this?  Except for two flying visits of a few hours Hadi has not been in Yemen for 19 months, his prime minister bin Daghr had made fabulous announcements for some days running in Aden but there has been no follow up. For 13 months after the end of the armed disputes the population in Aden has been severely suffering from the destroyed infrastructure, insufficient security and supply shortages.

And yet: There is hope!

Latest photos sent from the coffee mountains in the province of Raimah are evidence that the ancient „biblical“ Yemen, FELIX ARABIA, is still alive.

Posted in Newsletter