Press TV has conducted an interview with Naseer al-Omari, an author and political commentator, to discuss a confidential report based on which Yemen’s war has cost the country over $14 billion in damage to infrastructure and economic losses.
Here is a rough transcription of the interview:
Press TV: The numbers here are staggering. However, this is just the economic cost and it is not even highlighting the human cost of this war, is it?
Omari: No, it is not. And actually economically, it has devastated the Yemenis. About 21 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid. There is a blockade. This country is blockaded. There is no free entry of food and help. Medical facilities are being targeted by the Saudi airplanes and children are getting killed in their schools; people are being targeted and markets.
The Saudi regime has sacrificed the Yemeni people to achieve strategic goals in its fight against the Houthis whom it deems as allies of Iran. So the Yemenis are paying the price for the Saudi regime’s political and strategic objectives in the region.
Press TV: Just walk us through how many of those objectives have been achieved up until now. Because from where I am standing, it seems that the political process within Yemen is moving ahead and now it is moving towards forming a national unity government.
Omari: Well, unfortunately, this war has always been a failure. This war started after the Yemenis failed to put together a government and instead of facilitating a government for the Yemenis, the Saudi regime invaded this country. So the devastation and the fragmentation existed before this invasion and after this invasion more misery has been added to this country. It is far from reaching a political solution to this problem and the humanitarian cost has been staggering for the Yemeni people. So this war has failed and the Yemenis, unfortunately civilians, have paid the price for this Saudi venture in Yemen.
Press TV: This report has just mentioned that the public health system in the Yemeni city of Ta’izz has nearly collapsed. We saw the bombing of Doctors without Borders hospital in Hajjah Province just earlier this week. Also a school got targeted where the victims were aged between 8 and 15 years. Do you think that the international community would put more pressure on Saudi Arabia to bring this war to a responsible end?
Omari: Unfortunately we are not seeing this. We have heard some shy voices in the American Congress. We have a few congressmen who are saying we have to make sure that the weapons which the Saudi regime is buying from the US are not used to kill civilians and we have seen how the United Nations stood by and cleared the Saudis after they blacklisted them as child killers.
So we are looking at an international community that is more interested in [selling] weapons [to] the Saudis than saving Yemeni children or civilians. It is a shame that all these democracies are standing by, actually conspiring against the Yemeni people.