The Obstacles To Humanitarian Aid For Yemen Can Be Lifted At Once


By Harun Yahya

As the need for peace in Yemen grows, so does the intensity of the fighting. The questions of who is right and wrong, who enjoys strategic superiority and whose hand is weaker are no longer of any importance. The sides are attacking one another ever more ruthlessly.

While there is an urgent need for aid to civilians, the support given to those wishing conflict is actually increasing. A statement made at a joint meeting held by the United Nations and the Yemen International NGO Forum on May 6th revealed the scale of the disaster caused by the ongoing fighting. According to the statement, some 20 million people in the country are at risk of hunger. The main reason for this danger is that, according to 22 humanitarian aid organizations active in the country, the fuel crisis paralyzing it: This crisis has reached a scale such as to prevent aid efforts in Yemen.[1]

These words by Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition forces, following rocket attacks by the Houthis on the regions of Najran and Jazan, show that there will be much more bloodshed in Yemen: “The security of Saudi Arabia is a red line that has been crossed and the Houthis will pay the price.”[2]

There is a high probability of that attack, in which five people died (one a soldier) and 12 were injured, turning into a general conflict that will involve the whole Arabian peninsula. The only way of reducing that risk is an immediate ceasefire. Indeed, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the Obama Administration favors the idea of a five-day ceasefire for humanitarian reasons. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said they looked favorably on the initiative.[3]

The finally established five-day ceasefire demanded by Kerry and accepted by Saudi Arabia will allow at least some humanitarian aid to get through to people who find themselves in difficult conditions in Yemen.[4]

During the ceasefire it is very important that aid be provided for all civilians, with no distinction between Houthi areas or those that support the coalition. For that to happen, the opposing sides must show absolute respect for the ceasefire.

Even though Iran, the U.S. and the U.N. representative for Yemen all support the idea of aid, the ceasefire has thus far failed to come about. Saudi Arabia’s suspicions of Iran have played a major role in this. Saudi Arabia is simply unwilling for Iran to be involved in providing aid for civilians. A statement by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Jubayr blaming Iran for the current situation in Yemen made that abundantly clear.[5]

Saudi Arabia is concerned that military aid will get through to the Houthis if Iran is included in the aid operation. Solely due to that concern, warplanes from Arab countries under Saudi leadership last week bombed the runways at Sana’a Airport in order to prevent an Iranian plane carrying aid for the Houthis from landing there.[6]

Yet aid can be got through to civilians by overcoming that concern right away. A U.N.-led delegation including representatives of Iran and Saudi Arabia can be set up for that purpose; that delegation can organize and supervise the aid. In that way, the worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen can, to some extent at least, be alleviated.

The Iranian and Saudi governments are members of the same faith and believe in the same Book, the Qur’an. God commands believers in the Qur’an to be united and to display solidarity, and to support and assist one another on all matters. In the face of that explicit command, the proper course of action on the part of Iran and Saudi Arabia would be to immediately announce that they renounce any policies that might lead to the deaths of any more Muslims.

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com

[1] http://www.aljazeera.com.tr/haber/yemende-ateskes-umudu

[2] http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/05/07/Saudi-MoD-Houthis-crossed-red-line-will-pay-price.html

[3] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32408312

[4] http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/07/kerry-to-seek-pause-in-yemen-conflict-at-saudi-arabia-talks/

[5] http://www.aa.com.tr/tr/s/506193–suudi-arabistanin-ateskes-girisimini-destekliyoruz

[6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/28/saudi-bombs-sanaa-airport_n_7163114.html