By Mohammad Mazhari

Yemen experiencing worst health catastrophe: Yemeni diplomat

December 23, 2020 - 12:20

TEHRAN – A Yemeni diplomat says that his country is facing the “worst health catastrophe” as a result of the Saudi-Emirate siege. 

“Yemen is experiencing the worst health catastrophe at the regional level since more than a hundred years ago,” Moataz al-Qurashi, a health consultant in the Yemeni embassy in Syria, tells the Tehran Times. 

Al-Qurashi says, “Epidemics and diseases such as Malaria and others have become rampant.”

After the start of a full-scale war on Yemen in 2015 by the Saudi-UAE coalition, thousands of civilians have been killed or injured, and at least 3.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to a conflict that involves several regional and international countries.

In 2017, the UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien called Yemen the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II.

the Yemeni forces have always refuted all the allegations that these missiles were produced by other countries or were smuggled from one of the countries in the region. This foolish accusation comes to justify the failure of Saudi air defense to confront these missiles, which the Yemeni army and the popular committees have emphasized are Yemeni missiles and were developed in Yemen. This is clear in light of the blockade imposed on Yemen by air, land, and sea where Yemeni territorial waters are under their warships’ siege. In a context where civilians have been deliberately attacked by the Saudi-led coalition, COVID-19 has added a new layer to the unspeakable suffering for millions of civilians in Yemen.

Al-Qurashi says, “During the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the level of humanitarian aid to Yemen has been almost negligible.”

The following is the text of the interview:

Q: What messages do the Yemeni missiles send to Saudi Arabia? Do you confirm that Yemeni forces received missiles from a country in the region?

A: Yemen, in line with the legitimate defense of itself, has developed its military options more and more until it reached the long-range ballistic missiles that destroyed sites in the heart of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Yemen confronts 6 years of continuous Saudi-Emirati aggression which started under the title of what they call “Arab coalition”.

Yemeni missiles carry several messages. Firstly, they are missiles that are characterized by their accuracy and targeting vital strategic sites.

There is also an ethical message in the style of targeting while the Saudi-led coalition targets all vital human facilities, specifically civilian infrastructure, Yemen is committed that the sites it targets must be military or vital sites that affect the capabilities of the Saudi army and do not affect civilians or their lives.

The Yemeni armed forces, including the army and the popular committees, could prove through missile strikes launched by drones, that there is no fortified location in Saudi Arabia or the Emirates or other allied countries, and therefore all targets are within the range of Yemeni missiles.

Of course, the Yemeni forces have always refuted all the allegations that these missiles were produced by other countries or were smuggled from one of the countries in the region. This foolish accusation comes to justify the failure of Saudi air defense to confront these missiles, which the Yemeni army and the popular committees have emphasized are Yemeni missiles and were developed in Yemen. This is clear in light of the blockade imposed on Yemen by air, land, and sea where Yemeni territorial waters are under their warships’ siege.

They have stopped shipment of oil derivatives and even chase the boats of simple fishermen, so it is not reasonable that smuggling takes place through the sea. On the other hand, the Yemeni airspace is closed. All airports are under siege, and even civil flights are forbidden. Also, inland, they control all land ports.

These allegations are not except for political goals to undermine the axis of resistance and the countries supporting the resistance. They know with certainty that these missiles were developed in Yemen, and this is the result of the efforts of the Yemeni military experts.

Q: What is the economic importance of Yemen and its ports for Saudi Arabia and the UAE?

A: As you know, Yemen enjoys an important economic and strategic position in the peninsula besides its access to the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Saudi Arabia sought not while ago to find a sea outlet in the Arabian Sea and to carve out part of the eastern regions in Yemen bordering the Sultanate of Oman, and today we see they are trying to apply their policies in one way or another. Also, they want to plunder the oil and gas wealth in the southern and western areas of Yemen, which have a very huge strategic stock, as well as controlling Yemeni ports.

As you know, Aden was one of the most important ports in the region before Dubai and before other ports because of its important strategic location, and therefore countries such as the Emirates seek to control these ports and operate them under their administration and also by controlling the Yemeni islands and making them military and security bases for them in the Arabian Sea region.

Here I should point out Socotra, which is under the systematic occupation of the United Arab Emirates.

Q: What is the Ansar Allah initiative to establish sustainable peace in Yemen?

A: Regarding the Ansar Allah peace initiative, the discussion about peace started at the beginning of the Saudi aggression. The peace that we talk about in Yemen is a peace based on respect for the will and decision of the Yemeni people, respect for the territories and sovereignty of the Republic of Yemen, and non-interference in its internal affairs in return for Yemen’s respect for its neighbors and the security of its neighbors.

As you know, Aden was one of the most important ports in the region before Dubai and before other ports because of its important strategic location, and therefore countries such as the Emirates seek to control these ports and operate them under their administration and also by controlling the Yemeni islands and making them military and security bases for them in the Arabian Sea region.No one can impose his political view on Yemen or eliminate the Palestinian cause from Yemenis’ minds and hearts, and Yemen cannot accept an end to the aggression in exchange for normalization of ties with Israel.

Yemen’s relationship with the axis of resistance and its adherence to the belief and principles of this axis is something that cannot be discussed because it is one of the Yemeni people’s principles and the only one who decides and says the last word is the Yemeni people.
The peace we call for is the “peace of the braves”, a peace based on respect for the will of the Yemeni people.

Regarding security and military issues, we follow this basic principle. Undoubtedly, Yemen has no aggressive intentions against others, and all that Yemen has done and achieved has grown within the framework of legitimate self-defense operations and confronting this criminal aggression that targeted everything. Therefore, we emphasize peace in exchange for peace and security in exchange for security on the basis of mutual respect.

Q: Do you think that Saudi Arabia will continue its aggression against Yemen after Donald Trump quits the White House?

A: Saudi Arabia will continue its aggression, and this matter is not related to the presidency of Trump or anyone else. We have not forgotten that the aggression was approved by Washington, while the administration there was under President Barack Obama, and the war continued during the era of Donald Trump.

I do not think that this course will change.  And American policy is clear through its aggressive approaches in the region and it does not differ whether a Democratic or a Republican rules (the United States). There is a consensus among the American politicians that the aggression on Yemen serves America's interest, and we know that this aggression is in fact an American plan, and what Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are doing is nothing but the implementation of the American policy in the region. The war will continue, and if the Americans wanted to stop the war, they would have stopped it from the first day.

Q: How do you see the health and economic conditions in Yemen in the light of the daily Saudi bombings?

A: With regard to the health, humanitarian and economic aspects, it must be pointed out that Yemen is experiencing the worst health catastrophe at the regional level for more than a hundred years ago, and epidemics and diseases such as Malaria and others have become rampant. During the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the level of humanitarian aid to Yemen has been almost negligible.

International and humanitarian organizations that work in this regard could not cover a quarter of the health needs of the Yemeni people, not to mention the impact of the airport blockade and the inability of the sick and the wounded to leave for treatment abroad in light of the shortage of facilities in hospitals.

 Of course, this matter coincides with the crisis posed by the lack of oil derivatives and its impact on the health sector. The Saudi-led coalition deliberately detained ships and oil derivatives for more than two hundred days, and the quantity that is entering does not meet more than twenty percent of Yemen's real need for petrol and diesel, and the number of vessels detained for oil derivatives has reached more than ten vessels so far, and this constitutes a very large economic burden in terms of the accumulated fines for the seizure of ships, as the lack of oil derivatives affects the industry, transport, and trade, and greatly and directly affects the health and humanitarian sector, as well as agriculture, and constitutes a crisis in the food sector. Consequently, the Saudi-led coalition uses economic and humanitarian weapons to bring Yemen to its knees and control its resources.

Q: Do you see a role for Israel and America in supporting the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen?

A: Israel and America know that they have a fundamental role in this war. They have a basic plan against Yemen. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are nothing but tools to implement this plan. Israel has important goals in what is going on in the aggression against Yemen, since Yemen moves within the liberation line that it chose after the September 21 revolution, led by Mr. Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi.

Yemen, indeed, has changed radically and is going to be the main pillar in the axis of resistance. Yemen is today in its most important position, especially because it is surrounded by tyrannical regimes. The Arab states are tools of America to develop its hegemony over the region, therefore the battle of Yemen is a fateful battle for the axis of resistance, and the victory of Yemen is a victory for all this axis and a breakthrough towards major victories that will culminate in the liberation of Al-Quds and the end of the Zionist occupation.

That is why the Zionist regime feels a sense of danger from Yemen and its expansion to the rest of the (Persian) Gulf countries. This is what they seek to thwart, but this revolution will continue with steadfastness, support, and sacrifices of the Yemeni nation until its goals are achieved and the aggression ended.
 

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