Escalating US Military Strikes in Yemen Are Massacring Civilians

While all eyes are on the heated rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korea – a war of words that has not yet devolved into a physical confrontation — Americans should not overlook escalating violence elsewhere.

In recent years, Yemen — located on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula — has been embroiled in a bloody war. What began as an internal conflict when Houthi rebels violently supplanted the government has now become a battleground for international interests vying for expanded their own influence in the Middle East – not unlike the conflict in Syria and northern Iraq.

The most overt example of this began when Saudi Arabia entered into the conflict by conducting various campaigns to undermine the rebels; on the other side, Iran emerged as a major backer for the Houthis. Though the U.S. was not exactly absent from these events, neither was it actively participating in Yemen’s war.

Last year, a U.S. Navy ship came under fire by missiles believed to be launched by Houthi rebels on the Yemeni mainland. In swift retaliation, President Obama ordered Houthi positions to be hit by drones and cruise missiles. This amounted to as many as 54 different attacks – 38 of which are confirmed — by U.S. forces before the end of 2016.

Though this demonstrated a sharp increase in U.S. involvement in Yemen’s war, it does not compare to that under President Trump’s eight months in the White House.

According to data gathered by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, confirmed U.S. strikes in Yemen – both conventional and drone strikes – have already exceeded 100 in 2017.

Casualty estimates from strikes conducted in 2016 come to between 145 and 206, none of which were civilians. But this figure looks rather different under Trump.

So far in 2017, U.S. airstrikes have caused between 85 and 132 deaths. However, this number includes as many as 40 civilians — at least 10 of them children. And that means that this year’s air campaign in Yemen has killed almost as many innocent people as it has militants.

Not only does this reveal the abysmal success of these military campaigns, but it also exposes a shameful disregard for civilian life. Sadly, this is hardly a new pattern for this administration.

Back in March, a U.S. bombing campaign in Mosul, Iraq, led to 150 to 220 civilian deaths – a result that should not have surprised military leaders, as they deliberately targeted populated residential areas.

And in February, President Trump made one of his first military commands by ordering a raid against a suspected Al Qaida compound in Yemen. The haphazard mission was largely considered a failure, as 14 militants, at least 12 civilians — including children — and a Navy Seal were killed.

Under Trump, it is patently clear that human rights are ancillary considerations at best. If there is one time-tested way to promote anti-American militancy and terrorism, it is through the callous disregard for another country’s civilians.

Photo Credit: Stocktrek Images / Thinkstock

58 comments

Sarah H
Sarah Hill1 months ago

The "massacring of civilians" is because the bad players are hiding in the populated areas. They are in hospitals and schools especially.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica Danie2 months ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica Danie2 months ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica Danie2 months ago

Thank you so very much.

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Rosslyn O
Rosslyn O2 months ago

I so agree with Paul Carter on this and Anne Moran is very correct as well....We live upon this earth for a few days and then rest beneath it forever. So it is our graveyard eternally. Shall man fight for the tomb which devours him, for his eternal sepulchre? What ignorance could be greater than this? To fight over his grave, to kill another for his grave! What heedlessness! What a delusion! – Baha’i Faith Writings

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I2 months ago

Such a large number of civilian casualties is horrific, obviously. And if anyone will not hesitate to use them, it would be Trump. Thanks for sharing.

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Ellie M
Ellie M3 months ago

ty

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s3 months ago

Horrible

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s3 months ago

Horrible

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s3 months ago

Horrible

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