HAJJAH, YEMEN – “We’re brutally bombed every day. So why doesn’t the Western world care like it does about Ukraine?!!… Is it because we don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes like Ukrainians?” Ahmed Tamri, a Yemeni father of four, asked with furrowed brows about the outpouring of international support and media coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the lack of such a reaction to the war in Yemen.
Over the weekend, a member of Tamri’s family was killed and nine relatives injured when their family home was targeted in a Saudi-led Coalition airstrike in the remote al-Saqf area in Hajjah Governorate. Tamri claims that al-Saqf has been subjected to a brutal Saudi bombing campaign for the past seven years – more so, he says, than all of Ukraine has endured since it was invaded by Russia.
Despite the horrific bombing campaign against Yemeni civilians, Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations and war crimes have garnered nowhere near the level of coverage and sympathy that the mainstream Western media has rightfully given to Ukraine. “They shed tears for the Ukrainians, and ignore our tragedies… What hypocrisy and racism!” Tamri told MintPress News.
Yemenis ask the obvious
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues into the sixth day, an outpouring of support for Ukrainians continues to be seen across the Western world. Severe sanctions against Russia have been imposed by the United States, Europe, Australia, and the West in general, amid a flurry of emergency talks at the UN Security Council. The speed of Western retaliation – which includes banning Russia from the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) international banking network and calls to treat Russians as international pariahs in sports, culture, and even science – has raised eyebrows among Yemenis who have endured a relentless bombing campaign and deadly air, land, and sea blockade for 2,520 consecutive days.
Since Thursday, when Russian forces began their wide-ranging assault on Ukraine, the Saudi-led Coalition, supported by the United States, has launched more airstrikes in Yemen than Russia has in Ukraine. In Hajjah, a province surrounded by heavy Saudi artillery, Saudi-led coalition warplanes launched more than 150 airstrikes on the cities of Haradh, Heiraan, Abbs, and Mustab, killing scores of civilians, including a father of six killed over the weekend by a Saudi drone that targeted his car as it traveled between Shafar and the Khamis Al-Wahat market.
Since Russia’s incursion into Ukraine began, dozens of civilians, including a number of African migrants, have been killed and hundreds wounded by Saudi artillery and airstrikes in Yemen’s heavily populated Saada province, declared a military area by Saudi Arabia at the start of its military campaign in March 2015.
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