The International Rescue Committee sounds the alarm about the impending Saudi coalition attack on Hodeidah:
The country relies on the port of Hodeidah for 90% of its imports and for critical, life-saving aid. An attack or besiegement of the port, and on its 400,000 civilian residents, would have catastrophic consequences. Immediate action is required from all parties to the conflict and the wider international community to deliver an inclusive political solution and put an end to the conflict.
Secretary Pompeo issued a toothless statement today:
The United States is closely following developments in Hudaydah, Yemen. I have spoken with Emirati leaders and made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports. We expect all parties to honor their commitments to work with the UN Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen on this issue, support a political process to resolve this conflict, ensure humanitarian access to the Yemeni people, and map a stable political future for Yemen.
This has been widely and correctly interpreted as an endorsement of the attack:
US gives pretty much unqualified green light to impending UAE-Saudi attack on Houthi-controlled Yemen port of Hudaidah, despite worries about humanitarian catastrophe https://t.co/KvRNPCrEC8
— Borzou Daragahi 🖊🗒 (@borzou) June 11, 2018
Incredibly irresponsible. This is a yellow light statement, which KSA and UAE will take as a green light. 1/ https://t.co/7U6HvptXRG
— Jeremy Konyndyk (@JeremyKonyndyk) June 11, 2018
This is an oddly weak statement. It doesn’t warn the UAE not to launch the assault on Hudaydah. Seems like the U.S. is resigned to seeing it happen and maybe even willing to go along with it. Hundreds of thousands of lives at stake in Yemen. https://t.co/iib3TP8jWT
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) June 11, 2018
Unless this is followed up with intense Congressional pressure and private, credible administration threats, the US has just stepped aside for one of most gruesome, deadly, and short-sighted acts of violence of the 21st century https://t.co/vIntO3feIi
— Scott Paul (@ScottTPaul) June 11, 2018
The Trump administration has effectively announced that support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen is unconditional, no matter what the coalition does and no matter how senselessly destructive their war becomes. U.S. support for the war was already an enduring mark of shame for our country, and this decision adds greatly to it. The U.S. could prevent the horror that is about to engulf Hodeidah and the rest of Yemen, but it is going along with it and lending assistance to the governments responsible for it.
The attack on the port could begin as soon as tomorrow, as the UAE reportedly hopes to use the cover of the summit with North Korea to launch the offensive without international scrutiny:
Diplomats familiar with the situation say they believe that the Emiratis, who are leading the push for an attack, are looking to launch their planned assault while Washington’s attention is focused this week on the summit meeting between President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
While Trump is getting his photo op, U.S. clients will be launching an offensive that could cause the deaths of a quarter million people and lead to the starvation of millions more.