Yemeni Journalist: I Was Afraid US-Saudi Coalition Would Bomb My Wedding Party too
After the US-backed Saudi coalition massacred dozens of civilians at a wedding party, journalist Ahmad Algohbary says he and other Yemenis cannot live a normal life without fear
BEN NORTON: For more than three years, the United States has helped Saudi Arabia wage a catastrophic war on Yemen which has unleashed the largest humanitarian crisis on the planet. Washington has sold Riyadh billions of dollars in weapons, and provided fuel and intelligence for Saudi bombing. This support has continued despite repeated heinous atrocities committed by the Saudi military, which has relentlessly bombed civilian areas in Yemen.
On April 22, Saudi Arabia used a U.S.-made bomb to attack a wedding party in the northwestern Hajjah government. At least 33 Yemenis were killed in the air strikes, most of whom were women and children. Another 55 Yemenis were wounded. The bride was killed in the Saudi attack, and the groom was injured with shrapnel.
The Real News spoke with journalist Ahmad Algohbary, who lives on the ground in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, and has reported extensively on Saudi Arabia’s bombing of civilian areas.
AHMAD ALGOHBARY: Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed 33 and injured 55, including women and children, in a wedding party in Bani Qa’is district, Hajjah governorate. They killed, they bombed the cars, you know, the ones that were carried away from the scene by donkey. The equipment ran out from the hospital. So they turned it from a party to a tragedy.
BEN NORTON: Ahmad said many Yemenis are afraid of holding wedding parties, because they could be bombed by Saudi Arabia. In fact, Ahmad himself recently got married, and his family tried to talk him out of holding a wedding party for fear that they would be attacked.
AHMAD ALGOHBARY: Saudi-led coalition have been targeting wedding parties since the beginning of the war. So it is not something new. People like now afraid from doing wedding parties, like me. I got married one month ago, and my mom told me, don’t do a wedding party. They might bomb you. They might target your wedding party. Don’t do that. I told my mom that I want to celebrate my wedding party. It is like one, one time, or one moment that I need to celebrate something, to celebrate my new life with my wife. So she told me she’s afraid. And she really was afraid. After I finished my wedding party and I come back home, she hugged me and she cried. She thought that they might target my wedding party. Saudi want the people to be afraid. To feel like they are in war, and to be afraid from celebrating and from living a normal life.
BEN NORTON: Saudi Arabia can only continue to wage war in Yemen because it has staunch support from the United States and the United Kingdom. Remnants of a U.S.-made bomb were found in the rubble of the wedding party Saudi Arabia attacked in Yemen on April 22nd. Chilling video went viral on social media, showing a young boy who survived the attack clutching the body of his dead father. Ahmad Algohbary stressed that Saudi Arabia is committing these brutal war crimes with Western backing.
AHMAD ALGOHBARY: The UK and U.S. have played a crucial role in creating war on Yemen. UK and U.S. manufactured bombs have turned Yemenis’ lives to hell by killing their loved ones and destroying their houses and infrastructure. These American and British bombs dropped by UK and U.S. aircraft, flown by the Saudis who are operating with the assistance of U.S. refueling and intelligence.
BEN NORTON: Ahmad called on foreign governments to stop arming Saudi Arabia in this bloody war.
AHMAD ALGOHBARY: They are killing civilians with these bombs, so U.S. and UK governments must know that Yemenis’ life, they cannot be killed easily. So we deserve to live a better life, and they have to stop selling arms to Saudis.
BEN NORTON: Reporting for The Real News, I’m Ben Norton.