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Kennedy writes: "Doctors Without Borders says it is evacuating its staff from hospitals in northern Yemen after 19 people died when an airstrike hit one of its hospitals on Monday."

Yemenis inspect the damage in a room at a hospital operated by the Paris-based aid agency Doctors Without Borders in Abs, in the northern province of Hajjah, on Tuesday. (photo: AFP/Getty)
Yemenis inspect the damage in a room at a hospital operated by the Paris-based aid agency Doctors Without Borders in Abs, in the northern province of Hajjah, on Tuesday. (photo: AFP/Getty)

Doctors Without Borders Evacuates Teams From Yemen After Repeated Strikes From the US-Supported Saudi Coalition

By Merrit Kennedy, NPR

20 August 16


octors Without Borders says it is evacuating its staff from hospitals in northern Yemen after 19 people died when an airstrike hit one of its hospitals on Monday.

"Given the intensity of the current offensive and our loss of confidence in the Saudi-led coalition's ability to prevent such fatal attacks, MSF considers the hospitals in Saada and Hajjah governorates unsafe for both patients and staff," the group — also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF — says in a statement. It adds that the hospitals will continue operating "with staff from the Ministry of Health and volunteers."

The Saudi-led coalition, which supports Yemen's embattled president, has been waging an air campaign against Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels since March 2015. The Houthis hail from the north of the country, and according to MSF, the "coalition has resumed an intensified campaign" there since the Houthis and the coalition suspended peace talks earlier this month.

Coalition members said in a statement released on Saudi Arabia's state news agency that they "very much regret" MSF's decision. "We are seeking urgent discussions with MSF to understand how we can work together to resolve this situation."

However, MSF says it has tried to communicate with the coalition, to no avail. "Over the last eight months, MSF has met with high-ranking Saudi-led coalition officials on two occasions in Riyadh to secure humanitarian and medical assistance for Yemenis, as well as to seek assurances that attacks on hospitals would end," the statement reads. "Aerial bombings have, however, continued, despite the fact that MSF has systematically shared the GPS coordinates of hospitals in which we work with the parties involved in the conflict."

MSF Director of Operations Raquel Ayora says, "The explanations given by the Saudi-led coalition are not enough reassurance for us." Here's more:

"We don't think that all measures necessary are being taken to prevent more incidents. We have the feeling this incident might happen again, and we consider therefore that hospitals are not safe. Not for the patients, not for our staff."

Ayora calls the decision to pull MSF staff from the six hospitals an extremely difficult one and adds that she hopes it is temporary. She says MSF fears that resources now will be diverted to focus on treating war wounded, rather than branches such as maternity services or chronic diseases.

The group says the bombing of the Abs hospital in Hajjah governorate earlier this week was the fourth attack on an MSF-supported facility in the past year. "At the time of the airstrike the hospital was full of patients, including newborns and children," an MSF statement reads, noting that the now-closed facility has treated 4,611 patients since July 2015.

"This new incident shows that there are no effective measures in place to ensure that hospitals are not another casualty of war," says Teresa Sancristóval, manager of MSF's Emergency Unit.

According to The Associated Press, "rights groups and U.N. agencies say that more than 9,000 people have been killed since the Yemen war escalated with the Saudi-led airstrikes." your social media marketing partner


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+11 # MadKate 2016-08-20 22:30
This is horrific! I am a huge supporter of MSF (Doctors Without Borders) and know they would not pull out of any Third World Country unless the situation was drastic.

Shame on the USA for supporting Saudi Arabia--the country of Sharia Law that will kill before asking questions! We must denounce and dissociate from them--no matter what the $$$$ ties!
# Guest 2016-08-20 22:43
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+9 # Thomas Martin 2016-08-20 22:47
When I'm confronted with choosing between our backing Saudi Arabia in their annihilation of Yemeni's on their southern border,versus supporting Doctors Without Borders in Yemen, which is having to pull out because of Saudi Arabia's inhumane campaign there, I turn against our own country's foreign policy, and am ashamed of it.
+4 # Majikman 2016-08-20 23:26
The Saudi's contributed millions to the Clinton Foundation and Presto! they received US arms shipment...all during HRC's term as SoS.
More slaughter laid at the feet of Killery.

That creature is a monster.
+5 # treerapper 2016-08-21 04:05
If it were only Hillary, that could be resolved. The SYSTEM doesn't work that way. It's those in the background - those faces we don't often get a glimpse of - the Henry Kissinger sort of faces - that call the shots. The play the music and the ones that are supposed to dance , dance.If you don't dance the correct dance, there is the the means and ways committee who will teach you how to dance or worse than that, e.g. Kennedy.

That said, this is intolerable. There is not finer an organization than Doctors Without Borders - Medicins Sans Frontiers. They are the best of us. They go places we have nightmares about. All to save lives - no matter the religion, no matter the political orientation. The Hippocratic Oath in action with little regard for personal safety as Hospitals were respected places - places that shouldn't be touched.


What can we do in the face of such malevolence. We cannot touch the Saudis, Assad, Putin and that entire gang of thugs. We also can't reach those that play the dance music behind the scenes. The only access is the man that sits in that stupid house. So when you can't scream at anyone else, SCREAM AT OBAMA.

Here's the link - send him a message of outrage. Maybe if enough of us send a personal message of outrage to him, he might miss a dance step or two and do something noble. He might put his life on the line.
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0 # WBoardman 2016-08-21 22:12
"SCREAM AT OBAMA" is exactly right.
+4 # boredlion 2016-08-21 12:22
True story, tree rapper. Sad, ashamed and outraged as I am to say it - it is, indeed, the US govt that is deeply complicit in the slaughter of civilians in the Saudi's Yemen war.

For a damning and detailed history of this complicity, I recommend Andrew Cockburn's recent 'Letter from Washington' article in the current Harper's magazine (Sept. 2016), "Acceptable Losses - Aiding and abetting the Saudi slaughter in Yemen."

Cockburn is Harper's Washington editor and has interviewed several DC lawmakers on this shameful subject. In it, he remarks,

"This rain of destruction was made possible by the material and moral support of the US, which supplied most of the bombers, bombs, and missiles required for the aerial onslaught. (Admittedly, the UK, France, and other NATO arms exporters did their bit.). US Navy ships aided the blockade [of Yemeni ports]. but no one that I talked to in Washington suggested that the war was in any way necessary to our national security. The best answer I got came from Ted Lieu, a Democratic congressman from California who has been one of the few public officials to speak out about the devastation we were enabling far away. 'Honestly,' he told me, 'I think it's because Saudi Arabia asked.'"

This is how our government kow-tows to the Wahhaabi sheiks.

Here is the link : hive/2016/09/ac ceptable-losses /
0 # Skyelav 2016-08-22 12:17
Great. Another clusterfuck. Surprise!!!
0 # Femihumanist 2016-08-22 19:03
And by bombing hospitals, they are assuring that the people they want to kill actually die. Kill medical personnel and the rest of your job gets much easier.

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