On 26 March 2016, tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of the capital Sanaa to mark the first anniversary of the US-backed Saudi military attacks on their country.
In the past twelve months, the United States military has provided intelligence for the Saudi strikes, refueled its bombers, and replenished the kingdom with weaponry that brought death and destruction to Yemen’s population.
According to Defense Department figures reported by foreign policy magazine, between April 2015 and the end of February 2016, American planes have flown 747 aerial refueling sorties totaling over 6,300 flying hours, and provided over twenty-seven million lbs. of fuel to almost four thousand bombers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As of 26 December 2015, the estimated total cost of that support was approximately eighty-one million dollars.
Two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia announced that its coalition would scale back operations against rebels in Yemen. The Saudis have led a coalition of nine Arab states that began air strikes a year ago in support of what they call Yemen`s “internationally recognized government.” This announcement was made after the coalition missiles hit a market and caused the death of more than one hundred civilians, including twenty-two children. Shahram Aghamir spoke with Sheila Carapico, Professor of Political Science and International Studies at University of Richmond about the US-backed Saudi military attacks in Yemen which have claimed over six thousand lives so far. Carapico is the editor of the forthcoming book, Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf.