Yemenis turn against Saudi-led bombing as civilian casualties rise

The Wall Street Journal reports: Yemenis once supportive of the Saudi-led bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in their country are turning against the operation as civilian casualties mount and vital economic infrastructure is destroyed by airstrikes, including one on Wednesday that killed 29 employees at a dairy factory far from rebel-held areas.

At least 164 civilians have been killed since the airstrikes started last week, according to Yemen’s health ministry, while the United Nations put the figure at 93 dead and 364 wounded. Aid agencies say their ability to provide Yemen with urgent medical and food supplies has been restricted by both ground fighting between local factions and the Saudi airstrikes.

Even those who cheered the Saudi intervention against Houthi rebels are now appealing for its end. Last week, Riyadh assembled a coalition of 10 regional countries to counter the Iran-linked Houthi militants as they expanded across the country and forced Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee last week to Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis have admitted to receiving some arms and training from Iran, but maintain that their continuing military campaign is an independent decision to rid the country of an inept and corrupt government. U.S. officials say the Houthis are a national movement with limited ties to Iran, although they share a similar religious faith. [Continue reading…]

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