President Joe Biden has declared the stop of the United States’ support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, however, after a six year war many wonder if the support will help put an end to the violence.
By Annika Henthorn
According to The New York Times, the ongoing conflict in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthis, a rebel group from Yemen, attempted to take over the capital and a majority of Yemen's northwest. A year later, Saudia Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Arab states implemented a bombing campaign to dismantle the group and reestablish the government. Thinking that this campaign would be short-lived, many Saudi officials did not predict it would continue for as long as it has.
The United States has offered military aid to Saudi Arabia to assist in the rebel’s demise. However, many Yemenis who are also opposed to the Houthis, are angered by the actions of the United States. Tragically, the ones that have been hit the hardest by the attacks are civilians, many of which take place at funerals, weddings, and other gatherings, according to The New York Times. These attacks are organized by Saudi Arabia and its allies, but carried out with US materials and weapons. Yemenis are upset with the decisions the US has made regarding their stance in such a massive humanitarian crisis.
On Thursday, February 4, President Joe Biden declared the war in Yemen a “humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.” In response to this, he has decided to stop the United States’ support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen and some sale of weaponry, according to The New York Times. Although this is a relief to some in Yemen, others have expressed that it might be too late. After six years at war, many believe the damage done cannot be reversed. Farea Al-Muslimi, an associate at Chatham House, a research group that focuses on Yemen and the Persian Gulf, has stated that “the Gulf countries already have a lot of weapons, so the decision is symbolic in a lot of ways.” Regardless of the United States pulling their support, Saudi Arabia and its allies attain enough weapons to continue the destruction. Unfortunately, Biden’s decision to pull the United States’ support does not automatically mean an end to a war.
Weapons or not, New York Times has reiterated the deep-seeded tensions and conflict that Yemen still exists, complicating this common goal of peace. However, by Joe Biden removing the United States from its involvement in the war, it allows the United States to be in a better position to devise a resolution. Trump’s administration has deemed the Houthis a terrorist group; however, Biden has reversed this in hopes of moving towards peace.
Melanie Moyer '22,