As reported by Middle East Eye October 16, 2016, the US, Britain and United Nations sent a “peace envoy to Yemen on Sunday urged the warring parties in the country’s civil war to declare a ceasefire they said could start within days.”
The timing of this envoy was no accident and other then peace, there are several important factors at play here that must be acknowledged first, before we get into the peace process and negotiations.
For example, the same morning as the peace envoy mentioned above, The Intercept reported how the U.S. Navy entered into the “Yemen War directly for the first time with attack on Houthis.” According to the report, US ships stationed off the coast of Yemen received fire, but were not hit directly. In response, the US Navy returned fire to the shore and destroyed several key Yemeni radar stations in the process.
This marked an important moment in time for the US military as it has almost exclusively been close observers of the Yemen War, not active participants. As previously reported by Alternative Medi4, for the better part of the last two years, the US military has passive aggressively assisted in the Saudi led Yemen War though the sale of weapons/bombs, airborne refueling missions and intelligence gathering – the US military itself is not actively carrying out any bombing campaigns in Yemen.
However, several independent investigations by world renown human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have separately concluded that US manufactured bombs were behind several Saudi led airstrikes which hit civilian populations – including hospitals.
Yemen: Evidence indicates US-made bomb was used in attack on MSF hospital | Amnesty International https://t.co/ijjNFz5YwQ
— Amnesty Gulf (@amnestygulf) September 19, 2016
Saudi Coalition Airstrikes Target Civilian Factories in Yemen https://t.co/oqhutOhy61
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) July 11, 2016
This is extremely important to understand, especially give the recent passing of the 9/11 bill by the US Senate. Again, as reported by Alternative Medi4, not only does the 9/11 bill open the door for the US to sue foreign governments for War crimes committed against the American civilians, but it reciprocally opens the door for foreign governments/civilians to sue the United States for the same things.
Although the United States did not physically drop bombs on any of these civilian targets in Yemen, the US did manufacture these bombs and made billions of dollars selling them to the country that did drop them – Saudi Arabia. It can very easily be argued that without US involvement in this War, many of the civilians who have since died would still be alive today.
For this exact reason, as reported by Middle East Eye several times since the passing of the 9/11 bill last month, countless families in Yemen and Iraq are currently organizing to bring class action lawsuits against the United States government for their role in the Iraq and Yemen Wars. These are Wars that have seen the death of tens to hundreds of thousands of innocent women, children and families.
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) October 6, 2016
Before we get back to this, it is important to bring up something Hillary Clinton said at the last Presidential debate October 9th. Clinton described how “Russia is all in with Syria” and how at this point in time “it would be too late for the US to enter Syria.” Though she did not say these words specifically, Clinton essentially admitted that US interests in the Syrian Civil War have already been lost and short of all out War with Russia, the US has no reason to fight in the Syrian Civil War.
How is this related to the Yemen ceasefire?
Unlike Syria, the Yemen War is not lost to US interest at this point in time and if the US can not put our focus/resources towards Syria, we will focus them on what we what we still can control – such as Yemen.
As detailed above, less than a week after Clinton announced this to the American public, the US Navy engaged in Yemen for the firs time in and now there is a ceasefire in place. This is no coincidence, the US military is taking a hard-line stance in Yemen before it is too late and before we lose Yemen, just like we have lost Syria.
Moreover, tying back into the 9/11 bill, now that countries and families are currently organizing to bring international lawsuits against the US, it is now in the US/UK’s best interest to end some of these conflicts before the cause any more damage.
As of last night, 10/18/2016, the Yemen ceasefire has gone into effect for the next 72 hours – with an option to be extended beyond this date. Not only does this serve an important window to get humanitarian relief to families in the region, but it has also brought both sides of the conflict to the negotiating table.
— OCHA Yemen (@OCHAYemen) October 19, 2016
— Yemen Updates (@yemen_updates) October 19, 2016
This is also not the first time a ceasefire has been reached, at the beginning of August Saudi Arabia launched a massive air campaign following a 3 month long ceasefire – after peace negotiations fell apart in Egypt. The War has raged in full swing ever since, however, this is the first time negotiations are taking place under the threat of US military engagement.
The United Nations has previously called Yemen “the worst humanitarian crisis on Earth” and if you have any understanding of the current international landscape, that is really saying something. In fact, according to the United Nations statistics, 14 million people are in need of humanitarian aid and there are nearly 370,000 critically suffering from malnutrition.
This article (Days After US Navy Engages In Yemen for The First Time, Yemen Rebels and President Agree To Ceasefire) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article using a creative commons license with attribution to Brian Dunn and Alternative Medi4