An NGO that has reported on war deaths in Yemen now says they were wrong in their original estimates. Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project underestimated the causalities from the 3-year-old conflict by at least 5-to-1.
Originally, the estimates was that about 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen. This matched the number reported by the WHO. This is also the most highly cited source of war deaths in conflicts by the media and politicians, including the war on Yemen. ACLED has corrected estimates which puts the it between 70,000 to 80,000 killed in Yemen.
This number is only for people directly killed in the war, and not indirect consequences of the war which result in death. Starvation and preventable diseases like diphtheria and cholera are often a cause of death in wars. In December 2016, UNICEF said that every 10 minutes a child was dying in Yemen. Things have gotten worse since then though a the war has intensified and been prolonged. The total of direct and indirect deaths in likely well over 100,000 by now.
In September 2016, the Yemen Data Project reported at least a third of the Saudi airstrikes on Yemen were hitting hospitals, schools, markets, mosques, and other civilian targets. As a result of these U.S.-made bombs and war planes, the airstrikes have left the health infrastructure of Yemen crippled with half of the hospitals damaged or destroyed. They are hardly functioning and barely able to treat casualties of the war or provide care for the community.
This means more people are being injured or killed and the WHO which the WHO can't get the data for. Surveys done on functioning hospitals only captures a fraction of the deaths in Yemen. Most don't die in hospitals, as the hospitals can't even support them. When the UN, politicians or media are giving the estimates of people killed in Yemen, they are gravely underreporting the reality of the situation.
Civilian deaths are usually underreported in war zones. Epidemiologists have mortality studies based on established statistical principles for war zones and disaster areas. Politicians and the media have used these estimates to report about 3,000 people died from the Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and to cite the amount of deaths in placed like Rwanda and the Congo.
These experts also work in estimates in other areas, like how many people were killed in the invasion of Iraq. Studies published in the journal Lancet in 2004 and 2006 put the number killed in Iraq during the first 3 years of war at 600,000. But these figures aren't report by the West as it makes us look bad. Politicians and media stay away from those figures, downplaying it in order to not look like supporters of a horrendous invading and death-dealing enterprise. They instead like to blame the inhabitant "terrorists" for the chaos and destruction going on.
The U.S. and U.K. media and governments that normally uses Lancet data, instead tried to discredit it. Les Roberts, the author of the 2004 study, said:
"It is odd that the logic of epidemiology embraced by the press every day regarding new drugs or health risks somehow changes when the mechanism of death is their armed forces."
Roberts said there was no legitimate scientific bases for the rejection of his study. The results were valid, but the bias, denial and deceptive motives to push to justify the war didn't care. To continue to legitimize the wars, governments and media had to stop using data from scientific studies, and instead underestimate numbers killed to make the war more palatable.
Reporters in Iraq mostly stayed in the CENTCOM briefing room and the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. Some went out to the war zone, but always embedded with U.S. forces and traveling by helicopter or armored vehicles. Dahr Jamail was an exception, who was an un-embedded American journalist who went beyond the Green Zone and says the number of estimates i liekly higher than those estimated int he Lancet studies (600,000). It wasn't lower, contrary to the claims in the media who refused to correct their underestimated counts.
In Yemen, the same thing seems to be happening. But ACLED isn't defending the earlier incorrect estimates. They are doing a thorough review of sources and arriving at more accurate estimates that reflect the reality of the war on Yemen. Going back from the present to January 2016, the estimate is 56,000 people killed in the Yemen.
They are currently looking at data for 2015 when Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and allies in the coalition started the war, from March to December 2015, and estimate the total will be between 70,000 and 80,000.
Civilians are still being killed by the Saudi-coalition. At the end of October, 16 civilians were killed by an airstrike in a vegetable market in Hodeidah, and another aistrike struck two buses killing 15 civilians, including 4 children. The war has torn into Yemen, with an engineered famine (that seems like a genocide) which threatens 14 million Yemenis. That's half the population.
The estimates conducted by ACLEd, although higher and more realistic than the media usually reports, are conservative values. The true amount of people killed in Yemen are even higher. The true amount of dead from the massive violence and chaos will likely never be known, no matter how many media reports, hospital records, and other sources are used.
- The Yemen war death toll is five times higher than we think – we can't shrug off our responsibilities any longer
- Yemeni War Deaths Have Been Underestimated by 5 to 1
- UNICEF: One child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen
- One in three Saudi air raids on Yemen hit civilian sites, data shows
Thank you for your time and attention. Peace.
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