The war in Yemen put Christians of the region at risk
While the world is focused on the Russian incursion into Ukraine, little attention has been given to the intensifying war in the Middle East, where Yemen has been embroiled in a lengthy ongoing civil war since 2014.
Initially, fighting began between the Houthis, an armed rebel movement, and Al-Islah, Yemen’s main Sunni radical Islamic party. In 2015, the conflict expanded as Yemen became center stage for regional military engagement of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and their allies in support of the Sunni-led government of President Rabbu Mansur Hadi against the Shiite Houthis, whom they view as Iran’s proxy.
The Houthis, also called Ansar Allah (Supporters of God), are a large Zaidi Shiite minority who adhere to strict Sharia law and control most northwestern Yemen with allegiances of various clans and tribes. Iran has been accused of supplying weapons to Ansar Allah forces, in violation to the UN arms embargo.
A Saudi-led coalition has continued to pound regions of Yemen with multiple airstrikes in retaliation to missile and drone attacks on UAE and Saudi territory from Houthi forces. According to a UN Human Rights Council report earlier this year, the rate of airstrikes had doubled to over the roughly 600 strikes per month in 2021.