Human RightsMiddle EastSaudi ArabiaYemen

PHOTOS: 9-Month-Old Infant Clear Evidence of Saudi Crimes in Yemen

Halima, a 9-month-old infant, who was injured in Sa'ada province in Northern Yemen has turned into the new symbol of the Saudi-led crimes against the civilians in the war-torn poor country.

The Saudi-UAE coalition attacked residential areas in the town of Baqem in Sa’ada province on Friday, killing two and injuring 4 others.

The Arabic-language al-Khabar al-Yamani news website reported on Saturday that Halima, a 9-month-old infant, is among the wounded civilians in the attack. She has lost her mother, and her father and brother are among the injured as well.

The images of Halima have been widely shared in the social media and she has turned into a new evidence of the Saudi-led coalition’s crimes.

Ahmed al-Ghobari, a Yemeni journalist, released an image of Halima on his page, stressing the need for the Saudis and Emiratis to stop killing the civilians, women and children.

Another social media user, named Asemah, wrote that Halima has lost her mother and can do nothing but cry.

Halima’s story was trended after Amal Hussain, a seven-year-old girl whose image in the New York Times brought new attention to the thousands upon thousands of children suffering the dire consequences of Yemen’s devastating war, died.

The child died of malnutrition in a refugee camp in Northern Yemen, her family told the New York Times on Thursday.

“My heart is broken,” Mariam Ali, the girl’s mother, was quoted as saying, adding that “Amal was always smiling. Now, I’m worried for my other children”.

The NYT also quoted Mekkia Mahdi, a Yemeni doctor who had treated the girl shortly before her death, as saying “we have many more cases like her”. 

The photograph by Pulitzer Prize-winner Tyler Hicks, which showed the emaciated girl lying on a bed inside a mobile UNICEF clinic in Aslam, touched a nerve with people across the world and sparked an outcry over a crisis that has been called by the United Nations the worst in the word.

Speaking to The Takeaway radio programme earlier this week, he described how photographing Amal was “difficult” and “heartbreaking” but also “important”. 

“She really sums up how tragic and how bad the malnutrition and the starvation have really become in Yemen,” the photographer said.

Civilians, including children, have borne the brunt of the conflict which has killed at least 20,000 people since the Saudi-UAE-led military coalition intervened in Yemen, according to the UN. The death toll has not been updated in years and is likely to be far higher. The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), an independent watchdog, recently said around 100,000 Yemenis had been killed in the violence.

The UN has repeatedly criticized the alliance’s bombing campaign and placed it on a blacklist of child rights violators last year.

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council that Yemen is in danger of being engulfed by an “imminent and great big famine” that could affect 14 million people, or around half of the population. 

Lowcock stated that the looming famine could be “bigger than anything any professional in this field has encountered during their working lives”.

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