A four-year war in northern Yemen between the government and the Zahid Shiite civilians has been called a “near genocide” by some. Armed clashes began in 2004 when a small group of Zaidi rebels clashed with security forces. Since then the conflict spread though the Sa’ada province where 700,000 civilians have been caught between the warring sides. A province-wide survey found 92 percent of sampled children witnessed armed conflict. An estimated 100,000 citizens are internal refugees as families flee fighting and bombing.
The government’s tactics in attempting to subdue the rebellion appears to have swelled the rebel ranks. Food, medicine, and cooking oil are blockaded and malnutrition is evere in Sa’ada.
The military bombed cities and villages with mortars, rockets, and Katyusha missiles, damaging thousands of homes, mosques, and schools, sometimes without warning. Communications are cut and journalists barred. The Yemeni military deployed several thousand irregulars including tribal fighters, Afghans, Arabs, and local jihadists in the region populated by primarily Zaidi Shiites.
The following photos are among the first photos to emerge from the troubled region in years. These photos were taken in Sa’ada and smuggled outside the region. The Long War Journal obtained these photos from contacts in Yemen.
The photos show civilian homes and infrastructure damaged by government bombing, as well several children killed in their homes. Despite international protests, last week journalist Abdulkarim al Khaiwani was sentenced to six years in jail for possessing similar photos. Some of the images are quite graphic.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.