Monday, June 22, 2015

YEMEN - The Civil War

"This is what a civil war looks like" PBS NewsHour 6/19/2015


SUMMARY:  Many people think of the civil war in Yemen in broad terms - Shia versus Sunni, Saudi Arabia versus Iran.  But what does the constant fighting mean to those in the country?  Jane Ferguson examines how the ongoing struggle is affecting everyday Yemenis, providing an on-the-ground perspective on the war.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Today in Geneva, Switzerland, talks ended between Yemen’s exiled government and Houthi Shiite rebels, who control that country’s capital.  The negotiations failed to reach even a temporary cease-fire.

Tonight, we take a close at the personal cost of the conflict, but first a bit of background.  The latest turmoil can be traced back four years to the Arab spring, when an uprising ultimately led to the ousting of then President Ali Abdullah Saleh.  Earlier this year, Houthi rebels, with the help of soldiers still loyal to the former leader, forced Yemen’s current president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, into exile.  That sparked an international military response led by Saudi Arabia.

The subsequent fighting has killed more than 1,000 civilians and displaced more than one million.

NewsHour” special correspondent Jane Ferguson traveled to Yemen to see firsthand what life is like in rebel-controlled territory.

JANE FERGUSON (NewsHour):  These rebels have ruled much of Yemen for almost a year, marching through the streets of their greatest prize, the capital, Sanaa, in a show strength and defiance.

Houthi gunmen control the streets and their politicians control the government.  The U.S. and Saudi Arabia accuse Iran of backing the Houthis.  And this was Saudi Arabia’s answer to that close relationship.  Intensive airstrikes have pounded the country for three months.

My God.  So, this is where the rocket fell.

We were among the first Western journalists to enter Sanaa since that bombardment began in March.  We found neighborhoods destroyed and people terrified.

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