Even With Truce Attempts, Over 500 Civilians Killed Across Yemen in 2022

Serious peace bids are still far out of reach

The past year saw more than 3,000 civilian casualties in Yemen, capping a year of ceasefires, attempts at peace talks, and very little progress toward the end of the war.

An estimated 643 civilians were killed between airstrikes and explosions, with thousands wounded. Fully 17,734 were killed over the past seven years. The Saudi-led war aims to prop up a puppet Yemen government. US and UK arms, both sold heavily to the Saudis, were responsible for at least 87 deaths between January 2021 and February 2022.

This was a modest death toll, as six months in the middle of 2022 were a state of tenuous ceasefire, and strikes then were way down. Both sides claimed violations by the other, but the ceasefire gave locals a much-needed break.

From the start, the hope was to kick-start efforts at a peace talk to end the war. Early mistrust kept much of anything coming from this, though the ability to maintain a ceasefire showed the sides could work together.

Of concern, the pessimism toward deal-making continues, with the Houthis threatening deep strikes in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and both sides continuing to view this as a war to be won.

War-weariness prevails for most though, many of whom see little point in dragging on the war. They will look for more opportunities to end the war, while the deadly conflict drags into another year.

Meanwhile, the US too is making slow efforts to extricate itself from the war, with large arms sales to the Saudis and heavy Saudi and UAE lobbying making it difficult to quit. President Biden committed to getting out of Yemen, but has shown little inclination to follow through.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.