At seven years old, Radhiah Issa’s wide-eyed screams of panic and fear were understandable. Even an adult would be forgiven for waking up in a heated panic after discovering much of their body wrapped in blood-soaked bandages and laying in an unfamiliar room. Radhiah was in the family home of a Yemeni doctor who had scraped together whatever medical supplies he could in a heroic effort to render first aid and perform emergency surgery on Radhiah, who was seriously injured last Wednesday by a Saudi artillery shell while she stood amid her family’s grazing sheep near her home in the Shada District of Yemen’s northwestern province of Sadaa, near the border with Saudi Arabia.
“We needed sterilization tools and masks to avoid COVID-19, not American shells and bombs to smash our children,” one of Radhiah’s family members told MintPress News.
For the past few weeks, residents along the Yemen-Saudi border, particularly in the Sadaa, Hajjah, and al-Jawf provinces, have faced two options: contend with life under constant bombardment by Saudi border guards and warplanes or seek refuge farther from the border where the threat of COVID-19 looms amid the other myriad epidemics raging across Yemen. “The bombing and COVID-19 are making our lives hell; if you are quarantined at your home, the bombs will demolish the building on your head, and if you leave the house, you are subjected to coronavirus,” one of Radhiah’s family members told MintPress as the young girl lay nearby, still dazed.
As locals in the border town of Maran were celebrating Eid, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, four civilians were killed and another injured after Saudi warplanes targeted a highway in the Haydan district of Sa’ada. The attack on Maran accompanied a spat of over 100 Saudi airstrikes focused mostly along the Kingdom’s border with Yemen during Eid celebrations. Malahat, Baqim, al-Jawf, and Marib provinces as well as Abs and Harad district in the country’s northern province of Hajjah, were all heavily targeted causing still known numbers of casualties and damage.
In Hodeida, the Eid al-Fitr festivities failed to bring quiet to the province’s war-weary residents as the Saudi-led Coalition continued to hammer the strategic port city. Since December 13, 2018, Saudi airstrikes on the city have been replaced with snipers, artillery shells, and missiles after the Houthis and Saudi Arabia agreed to a UN-brokered truce in Sweden. An eight-year-old boy sustained injuries after Saudi mercenaries shelled a residential area in Hodieda’s southern al-Durayhimi district on the same day that Saudi airstrikes were peppering mountaintops near Maran with indiscriminate shelling and airstrikes, as seen in video obtained by MintPress.
In what can only be described as a boost to the Saudi-led Coalition war and a tragedy for the civilians who already struggle with COVID-19 and other epidemics, President Donald Trump’s administration plans to provide Saudi Arabia with more bombs one year after pushing through an $8.1 billion weapons contract with the Kingdom.
Influential U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) revealed in an editorial published by CNN that President Trump’s administration was considering selling arms to Saudi Arabia again, following international condemnation during the last such sale.
Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, confirmed that there is still no justification for the U.S. to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia, adding “That is why I am particularly troubled that the State Department has again refused to explain the need to sell thousands more bombs to Saudi Arabia on top of the thousands that have yet to be delivered from last year’s emergency.”