The United states has caused a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, exacerbating not only the poverty that has already crippled the small Middle Eastern country, but further fueling the extremism already so prevalent in the country. On Saturday, a Saudi coalition led airstrikes that massacred mourners who were gathered in a crowded reception hall following a funeral. The latest numbers estimate that at least 104 people were killed and over 550 wounded, with both figures rising as rescuers continue to pull bodies from the rubble. Among the dead were prominent political and military leaders who had spoken out in support of peace talks to end conflict within Yemen.
The strikes came from a Saudi-led coalition, but Saudi Arabia depends on the United States for aircraft, munitions, training, in-flight refueling, and help guarding borders. The most recent massacre is not an isolated incident. The same coalition has struck a Doctors Without Borders hospital, a school, and a food factory. The United Nations has blamed the coalition for 60 percent of last year’s deaths and injuries to children in Yemen. Like the editorial board of the New York Times, I believe that not only is it our political duty to immediately halt support to and for the Saudi coalition, as we are just further fueling an already devastating conflict, but more importantly it is our moral duty to disengage in war crimes that are resulting in the indiscriminate deaths of hundreds of civilians, including children. The United States’ involvement is endangering troops stationed in the Middle East, dragging us into a conflict we should not be involved in and only providing humanitarian aid for, and resulting in a tragic number of innocent lives lost.