Fighting Escalates Across Yemen

The ongoing conflict in Yemen is starting to get more coverage lately, as more than a thousand people have already died in the region and that list is still growing. As the U.S. continues to build-up its presence of warships in the area, they are holding steady to their accusations against Iran supplying weapons to rebels in the country. Thus far, they haven't produced any concrete evidence to support their fears and rhetoric that Iran has been supplying the area, but they continue regardless. There are also now claims being made that Russia is working in conjunction with Iran in order to send these weapons to Yemen. The current president of Yemen, Hadi, has been removed from power and is believed to have escaped to Saudi Arabia. 


To make matters worse, the Islamic State have just allegedly declared their official presence in the region as well, after they posted a supposedly authentic video online; threatening to target Houthi citizens in the area. The video showed roughly two dozen fighters who were in full military gear, and it's believed that they filmed the video in an area located near the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. "We have come to Yemen, with men hungry for your blood to avenge the Sunnis and take back the land they have occupied," said the supposed IS commander in the video. 

Iranian ships, at least nine vessels, have been in the waters near Yemen for some time now, but they have started receding following an increase in the presence of U.S. ships coming to the area now. The United Nations Security Council has forbidden any shipments of weapons to Houthi rebels in the area. For now, the Iranian ships appear to be outnumbered in the area. On Friday, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh called for UN-brokered Saudi-Yemeni peace talks to be conducted in Geneva. However, despite calls for peace, the fighting continues to rage on. Since Saudi Arabia launched its airstrike mission in the area, Decisive Storm, at least 1000 people have lost their lives. The United Nations has confirmed that of those 1000 who have died, the majority of them were innocent civilians, and at least 150,000 people have been displaced by fighting. Saudi Arabia has indicated that the first phase of its military operation in the region is completed.  

It has been alleged that Saudi Arabia is also standing in the way of humanitarian aid getting to the area. Despite Saudi King Salman having ordered an aid pledge of at least $274 million to help those impacted and displaced from the ongoing conflict, meeting the call from the United Nations (UN) for help for the conflict-torn area.  “Saudi Arabia does not help with efforts to deliver humanitarian aid and transfer of injured Yemenis for treatment,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a telephone conversation with President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Amir-Abdollahian called on further support from the international community in order to address the growing humanitarian crisis in the area.


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