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8 Dec, 2017 23:01

White House statement on Yemen violence overlooks US complicity

White House statement on Yemen violence overlooks US complicity

The White House has called on ‘all sides’ to cease fighting in Yemen, but failed to address the US role in the ongoing devastation in the Middle East’s poorest nation. US military support has been crucial in the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

“The United States is gravely concerned by the recent escalation in violence and continued dire humanitarian conditions in Yemen,” the White House said in a statement Friday. “We urge all parties to immediately cease hostilities, reenergize political talks, and end the suffering of the Yemeni people.”

The statement accuses the Houthis of “brutal repression of political opponents,” specifically calling out the killing of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh earlier this week, allegedly by Houthi rebels.

Muhammad al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi political party Anasrullah, alleged that Saleh was collaborating with the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in an interview with Press TV.

The White House statement went on to accuse the Houthis of “reckless missile attacks against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.” The Houthis claimed responsibility for a missile launched towards a nuclear reactor in Abu Dhabi on December 3, through UAE officials denied the Houthi claim. The Houthis reportedly launched a missile towards an airport in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The US also accused Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard of “arming advising, and enabling the Houthis’ violent actions.” Tehran has firmly denied providing military aid to the Houthis.

The US, however, has played a central role in the Saudi-led war on Yemen. In May, Saudi Arabia purchased $110 billion worth of arms, much of which have been used to wage war on the poorest country in the Middle East. Yemen has been under attack by a Saudi-led coalition since March, 2015. At least 17 million Yemenis are “food insecure,” according to the UN, with hundreds of thousands children malnourished. The country is also dealing with a major cholera epidemic, and will soon reach 1,000,000 suspected cases.

While the statement did not address the Washington’s role in the ongoing devastation in Yemen, it did call on Riyadh to lift its siege on Yemen’s ports. “We call on the Saudi-led coalition to facilitate the free flow of humanitarian aid and critical commercial goods, including fuel, through all Yemeni ports and to restore commercial flights through Sana’a Airport,” the statement said.