Five Reasons Yemen’s Crisis Matters to the U.S. and the World by Alan Sipress, Laris Karklis and Tim Meko – Washington Post
The civil war racking Yemen pits U.S.-backed forces against Iranian-backed elements in an all-out shooting war, and the United States, which has for years conducted counterterrorism operations in Yemen, is expanding its role there.
Yemen’s political and social chaos has fueled the growth of a virulent al-Qaeda affiliate that U.S. officials say has eclipsed its parent organization as a terrorist threat to the United States.
Airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition with logistical and intelligence support from the United States have killed and wounded thousands of civilians, often in indiscriminate attacks, human rights groups say.
Yemen’s humanitarian crisis is considered the worst in the world. With more than 3 million people displaced by war, and with the economy besieged and in ruins, the United Nations says the risk of famine could imperil 22 million people – about three-quarters of the population.
At least 1 million Yemenis have contracted cholera in the largest outbreak of the disease in history and pose a threat of an international epidemic.
Yemen was a storied crossroads of commerce and cultures in ancient times. The Romans called it Felix Arabia, or Happy Arabia. Today, conflict in Yemen is a profound menace to the country’s populace and to others beyond its borders…