A nurse comforts a girl infected with diphtheria at the al-Sabeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen October 21, 2018.Reuters
The Senate on Wednesday advanced a resolution to end US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
The resolution, which calls on the president to remove most US troops in Yemen, passed 63 to 37. The resolution failed to pass earlier this year.
Democrats unanimously voted in favor of the resolution, and even prominent Republicans, including Sens. Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul, also voted in favor of the measure.
In 2015, Saudi Arabia formed a coalition to defeat the Iranian-backed Houthis fighting the Yemeni government.
The US has supported the coalition with limited intelligence sharing, training with the professed aim of making aistrikes more precise, limiting civilian casualties and mid-air refuels for coalition jets.
Amid the political backlash against the kindgom over the killing of a journalist by Saudi operatives, the Pentagon announced in November that it would stop refueling coalition jets.
The coalition has conducted airstrikes that have indiscriminately killed and wounded thousands of civilians, and implemented a host of economic measures, such as periodic blockades and import restrictions, that have caused severe food insecurity and disease.
In fact, the war in Yemen has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. But it took the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi for US action against the Saudi-led coalition to grow stronger.
Here are 7 facts to know about the Saudi-led coalition’s brutal war in Yemen.
Indiscriminate airstrikes, which could amount to war crimes, have killed and wounded thousands of civilians.
A man carries Buthaina Muhammad Mansour, believed to be four or five, rescued from the site of a Saudi-led air strike that killed eight of her family members in Sanaa, Yemen August 25, 2017.Thomson Reuters
In fact, the number of dead and wounded civilians from coalition airstrikes vary widely according to different organizations.
Since March 2015, airstrikes have killed 6,660 civilians and wounded more than 10,000, according to the UN.
Similar figures have been reported by other organizations, but these rough figures haven’t been updated for years due to the nearly impossible task of recording death tolls in such a conflict zone.
The Washington Post reported in August that one independent estimate put the death toll from airstrikes and combat at 50,000.
Source: United Nations
The United Arab Emirates, which is also a major player in the coalition, has been accused of arbitrarily detaining, disappearing and torturing people, even children, thought to be political opponents or security threats.
A former detainee covers his face for fear of being detained again, as he shows how he was kept in handcuffs and leg shackles while held in a secret prison at Riyan airport in the Yemeni city of Mukalla.Associated Press
In June 2017, the Associated Press documented at least 18 secret prisons across southern Yemen in which the UAE and its Yemeni allies routinely tortured detainees.
Former detainees told the AP that they were beaten, forced into shipping containers covered in feces for weeks, sexually assaulted, and tied to a spit called a “grill” in which they were spun around in a circle.
The UAE denied has denied the allegations. The US also admitted to interrogating detainees, but denied any knowledge of torture and abuse.
The Houthis, on the other hand, have also been accused of several human rights abuses, including indiscriminate missile attacks, using child soldiers and more.
Source: Human Rights Watch, Associated Press