While mainstream media outlets obsess over the birth of yet another “Royal Baby,” the news that the United States has supported one of its closest allies in the bombing of a wedding that killed at least 20 people—including the bride—has received significantly less coverage.
The bombing took place at a wedding near Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a, and a report from the Associated Press claimed that the majority of people who were killed were “women and children who were gathered in one of the tents set up for the wedding party in the district of Bani Qayis.”
The bride was killed and the groom was one of more than 50 people who was wounded. Ali Nasser al-Azib, deputy head of the hospital, told the AP that at least 30 children were among the injured—several are suffering from shrapnel wounds and severed limbs, and are in critical condition.
Doctors Without Borders in Yemen has continued to provide an updated count of the people who were wounded at the wedding, and as of Monday morning, it claimed that 63 people were being treated at an MSF-supported hospital for injuries they sustained during the bombing.
— MSF Yemen (@msf_yemen) April 23, 2018
The dead bodies are still being recovered, and an anonymous local official told the AFP that “a double air strike on the crowded party venue had left a number of dead bodies buried beneath the rubble.”
While the United States has yet to condemn the massacre, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Bahram Qassemi, said the bombing was evidence that “The escalated bombardment of residential areas proves the desperation and inability of the invaders in achieving their goals.”
The AP reported that this bombing is the third that has targeted Yemeni civilians in as many days—an entire family of five was killed after an airstrike hit their house on Sunday, and at least 20 civilians were killed after an airstrike hit a commuter bus leaving the war-torn district of Mowza on Saturday.
The current conflict in Yemen has been ongoing since 2015 and it was manufactured as a proxy war by Saudi Arabia, targeting its bitter enemy, Iran. After just two years, the death toll from the conflict surpassed 10,000 in January 2017 with over 40,000 wounded. The number of casualties has only continued to increase, as a report from the United Nations noted that the parties involved are conducting operations “heedless of their impact on civilians.”
As The Free Thought Project has reported, the current situation in Yemen is nothing short of genocide, as even with 7 million civilians in starvation, and 19 million out of the country’s 27 million population “in need of some form of aid,” Saudi Arabia enacted a blockade on humanitarian support last month, with the help of the United States.
The Defense Department released a statement in December 2017, in which it admitted for the first time that U.S. forces have conducted “multiple ground operations and more than 120 strikes this year” in Yemen.
The DoD justified the increased assaults by claiming that they were an attempt to wipe out Al-Qaeda, which it defines as “one of the terrorist groups most committed to and capable of conducting attacks in America.” The statement also admitted that the Islamic State’s presence in Yemen has apparently “doubled in size over the past year.”
However, the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child has dominated the headlines, proving that Americans would rather be distracted by unrelated events in other countries than educated on how their government is using their tax dollars to kill innocent civilians in the poorest country in the Middle East.
Despite a host of human rights violations, Saudi Arabia is also painted in a positive light by both the mainstream media and many politicians and billionaires in the U.S. In fact, as investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald noted, the bombing comes just weeks after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman went on a publicity tour across the United States, which included meetings and photo-ops with Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and the editorial boards from a number of media outlets.
The Saudi bombing of a Yemeni wedding party – in a country where they, along with their US & UK partners, have created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises – comes just a few weeks after this orgy of red-carpet love for the Saudi tyrant by the most glittering US elites: pic.twitter.com/z0yRs23Ahl
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 23, 2018