as Saudi-led Coalition Bombs Center For The Blind In
You'd hardly know it from the media, but a
U.S.-backed coalition is pummeling the poorest
Middle Eastern country
By Ben Norton
the blind can now be added to the list of civilian
areas bombed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen —
along with wedding halls, hospitals,
residential neighborhoods and humanitarian aid
U.S.-backed coalition bombed the al-Noor Center for
Care and Rehabilitation of the Blind in Yemen’s
capital city Sanaa on Tuesday morning, U.N.
confirmed to VICE News. The Saudi-led coalition
also hit Yemen’s chamber of commerce and a wedding
broke out in Yemen, the poorest country in the
Middle East, in March. A coalition of Middle Eastern
nations and militants loyal to President Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi, led by Saudi Arabia and armed by the
U.S., is combating Houthi rebels and militants loyal
to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
rights organizations have
accused the coalition of war crimes for
targeting civilian areas.
the Western-supported coalition
attacked a Yemeni refugee camp, killing roughly
40 people and injuring 200 more.
bombed an Oxfam warehouse full of life-saving
humanitarian aid in April.
September, Saudi Arabia bombed a wedding in Yemen,
killing 131 civilians, including 80 women.
month, the coalition attacked another Yemeni
wedding, killing at least 47 civilians and injuring
bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in
Yemen in October, just weeks after the U.S.
destroyed a hospital in Kunduz, Yemen.
December, the coalition bombed
a second Doctors Without Borders medical
facility in Yemen.
2,800 civilians have been killed in Yemen since
the start of the war in March, according to the U.N.
Another 5,300 have been wounded. At least 81
civilians were killed and 109 injured in Yemen in
the month of December alone.
Saudi-led coalition is responsible for approximately
two-thirds of civilian deaths, the U.N. says.
Coalition airstrikes killed at least 62 civilians in
December, whereas Houthi rebels reportedly killed
condemned the coalition for using widely banned
cluster munitions in Yemen. These internationally
banned weapons were provided to Saudi Arabia
by the U.S. Kenneth Roth, executive director of
Human Rights Watch, blasted the coalition for using
the indiscriminate weapons, saying Saudi Arabia is
“repeatedly using indiscriminate forms of warfare.”
A quiet, and misleading media
statements by rights groups, much of the U.S. media
has been actively ignoring the ongoing war. And,
even when outlets do report on it, coverage is often
published a piece about the bombing of the
center for the blind, euphemistically titled “Yemen
war intensifies amid mounting regional tension.”
line of the piece calls the Yemeni rebels
“Iran-allied Houthi forces,” yet the extent to which
they are backed by Iran is contested, and likely
Award-winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter
has challenged media reports of Iran ties, arguing
they are not based on evidence. Porter
says “false stories of Iran armed the Houthis
were used to justify war in Yemen.”
Only in the
third line of its article does Reuters report that
“the air raids hit a care center for the blind and
Yemen’s chamber of commerce headquarters.”
reprinted the Reuters article with the equally
euphemistic headline “Yemen War Heats Back Up After
European press has devoted a little more attention
to the U.K.-backed war, but even then its coverage
also leaves a lot to be desired.
The Independent ran an
article on Jan. 4 that calls the brutal
Saudi-led, Western-backed war “Yemen’s sectarian
civil war,” implying it is about sectarianism and
religion, not empire.
claimed the war “has largely escaped Western media
attention,” by which it actually meant the war has
largely been ignored by Western media outlets.
glaring of all, The Independent did not mention once
in the piece that this is a Western-backed war, in
which the Saudi-led coalition is being actively
armed by the U.S.
gave a heartwarming platform to a Yemeni artist,
but, in the process, tried to humanize the war by
Norton is a politics staff writer at Salon. You can
find him on Twitter at
2016 Salon Media Group, Inc