Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Unreported War and Its High Cost to Civilians

The war that is pretty much ignored by the mainstream media, particularly in the United States, just passed a milestone although you'd be hard-pressed to learn anything about it.

According to an analysis by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project or ACLED, the war in Yemen has now resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 people and more than 40,000 conflict events have taken place since 2015.  Here is a breakdown:

1.) approximately 20,000 fatalities have been reported so far in 2019 - this is the second most deadly year after 2018.

2.) approximately 8,000 fatalities have been reported so far in 2019 - the number of conflict events has dropped since March 2019 thanks to a drop in the number of shellings and airstrikes however the actual number of battles has not decreased.

3.) April was the most deadly month in 2019 with over 2,500 reported fatalities compared to "only" 1,700 in September.  The third quarter of 2019 has seen the lowest number of reported fatalities since the end of 2017 due to a decline in battle intensity.

4.) the number of coalition airstrikes has declined over the past year while Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia increased until the group announced a unilateral ceasefire against targets inside Saudi Arabian territory in September 2019.  It is important to note that the Saudis only partially accepted the ceasefire and continue to conduct attacks inside Yemen.

The impact on civilians has been significant.  Since 2015, ACLED has tracked approximately 4900 attacks that directly targeted civilians resulting in more than 12,000 civilian deaths; so far in 2019, there have been approximately 1,100 civilian deaths.  The Saudi-led coalition is responsible for over 8,000 of directly targeted civilian deaths and the Houthis are responsible for over 2,000 civilian deaths from direct targeting. 

Here is a map of Yemen showing the events that have resulted in 30 or more deaths so far in 2019:

Thanks to the Yemen Data Project, we also have statistics showing the impact of coalition air raids on Yemen and its civilians.  According to their statistics, 20,824 coalition air raids have resulted in the deaths of 8,632 civilians and injuries to 9,714 civilians.  Here is a graphic showing the number of air raids per governorate in Yemen:

Here is a graphic showing the timeline of the coalition air raids and the number of air raids per month:

Here is a graphic showing the number of attacks against various types of non-military infrastructure:

With Saudi Arabia playing a leading role in the coalition fighting in Yemen, let's close this rather sobering look at one of the world's least reported wars with this:

You will notice that the vast majority of the Royal Saudi Air Force fighter inventory is comprised of F-15S/SA and F-15C manufactured by Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas) strike fighters, followed by Tornado IDS strike fighters manufactured by a European consortium and Typhoon strike fighters, also manufactured by a European consortium.  In other words, the United States defense industry is largely responsible for supplying the Saudi Royal Family with the means to kill thousands of innocent Yemeni civilians.  But, one thing we know for certain, Washington will go on rubber-stamping the sale of American fighter jets to their second-best friends in the Middle East, civilian deaths be damned.

1 comment:

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