Yemen and the Growing Spillover of War in the Middle East

Ceasefire Gaza
Photo by Phil Pasquini

In response to the continued drone and missile attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels and after weeks of warnings, the U.S. and U.K. began retaliatory missile strikes and aerial bombings on numerous Houthi mainland military bases and launch sites to degrade their capability to continue the attacks. The Houthis have promised to retaliate in turn for the attacks as thousands of demonstrators on Friday in the countries rebel-held capitol of Sanaa called for “Death to America and Israel.”

The Houthis had earlier stated they would only attack ships owned by Israeli companies or those headed to Israel ports in solidarity and support of Hamas in its war with Israel and will only end their attacks when Israel ends its war in Gaza.

Demanding an end to the U.S. attacks in Yemen and holding “No War on Yemen” signs, human rights and peace activists held an emergency protest at the Federal building here on January 12 during the evening commute while forcefully calling on President Biden to immediately end the attacks. Protesters called for “Not another U.S.-led war in the Middle East! Hands off Yemen. No more U.S. war. We must demand an end to U.S. military aggression and imperialism around the globe!”

During the rally protesters heard from several speakers, one of whom noted he was no longer voting anymore for “old white men” including Bernie Sanders who has not supported an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Another speaker reflected that resolving the Houthi attacks by military action is not going to bring about a resolution and will only further serve to inflame the situation. This ongoing spillover from the war in Gaza is highly likely to result in a regional war causing further disruption of commercial shipping in the Red Sea between Europe and Asia along with worldwide economic disruption.

The large crowd of protesters made their voices heard and presence felt by blocking the busy street where the last vehicle to pass through before it was taken over was a large van driven by a protester flying a Palestinian flag with the message “I would call it genocide, any other name would be a lie.”

A dramatic backdrop of images was projected on one of the Federal Building’s massive walls showing victims killed in Gaza along with parents holding dead children’s bodies wrapped in burial shrouds along with others calling for an immediate end to the bombing and “#Ceasefire Now” while one referred to Biden as “Genocide Joe” for his support for Israel.

Since the war began in early 2014 in the aftermath of the Houthis overtaking the capitol in Sanna, an estimated 377,000 Yemenis have been killed as a Saudi-led coalition became engaged in removing them with little to show for their efforts in the past ten years.

Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.

(This article has appeared in Nuzeink and IndyBay)

© 2023 nuzeink all rights reserved worldwide

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