A study by London's Queen Mary University analyzing the devastating war in Yemen found that the vast majority of deaths in the war-torn country are at the hands of the United States and United Kingdom backed Saudi coalition.
The coalition, with western support, has engaged in blockade tactics to prevent aid from reaching Houthi controlled areas of Yemen while carrying out devastating bombing campaigns.
“Saudi-led airstrikes have destroyed vital infrastucture, including hospitals and public water systems, hit civilian areas, and displaced people into crowded and unsanitary conditions,” the report said. “A Saudi-enforced blockade of imports has caused shortages of, among other things, food, medical supplies, fuel and chlorine, and restricted humanitarian access.
The tactics have resulted in a massive cholera epidemic, with recent World Health Organization data estimating at least half a million cases and two thousand deaths.
According to the analysis, which compared fatalities geospatially between Houthi controlled regions and areas controlled by Saudi-aligned forces, found that eight out of ten deaths occured in Houthi controlled areas due to the consistent assault waged against them.
The researchers found that 78 percent of cholera cases and 81 percent of deaths from cholera occurred in Houthi-controlled regions. Only 10.4 per cent of deaths occurred in government-controlled areas.
In Houthi controlled areas, approximately 1.8 percent of the population has contracted cholera, according to the study, compared to 1.0 percent in areas controlled by the coalition-backed government.
On Friday, U.N. aid chief Stephen O'Brien condemned the Saudi-Coalition along with Yemen's ousted government for “unilaterally denying or excessively delaying entry to vessels carrying essential cargo.” The U.N. demanded that the coalition stop destroying ports and preventing shipments.
Backed by western weapons, the coalition began a devastating air campaign in march 2015 after the Yemeni government was ousted by Shia Houthi rebels, in an attempt to reinstall the former state.
The researchers placed the blame not only on the Saudi Arabian coalition, but also on their U.S. and U.K. backers. “American and British companies supply Saudi Arabia with huge amounts of military equipment and their armed forces provide logistical support and intelligence,” the study said. “This backing has made the Saudi-led airstrikes and blockade possible, and therefore the U.K. and the U.S. have played a crucial role in creating conditions conducive to the spread of cholera.”
“As the Saudi-led coalition has played a key role in the collapse of health, water, and sanitation systems in rebel-controlled areas, it is bizarre that UNICEF recently published a press release welcoming Saudi Arabian 'generosity' after the kingdom donated US$67 million to the cholera response in Yemen.”
Cholera is highly infectous and is spread by the ingestion of contaminated water. It results in uncontrollable diarhea and deadly dehydration. It is preventable with proper sanitation and access to water treatment and healthcare.