In Yemen, Civilians Bear the Brunt of a Worsening War

January's civilian toll highest since war began

As tit-for-tat escalations continue in northern Yemen, the UN is warning that civilians are, as so often, getting the worst of things. January is set to be the deadliest month for Yemen’s civilians since the war began in 2014.

With Yemen’s Houthis firing missiles into Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Saudi-led attacks on densely populated cities like Sanaa have soared. Northern Yemen’s struggle to import medicine makes it difficult for hospitals to treat the wounded.

In addition to death tolls in Saana and Saada, mounting airstrikes have also increased the number of internally displaced Yemenis. With food scarce, the plight of the displaced is even more harrowing than usual.

International and aid groups are calling on all sides to protect civilians in the course of the war. International law requires civilians to be spared in conflict, and in Yemen, that’s just not happening.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of