Doctors in Yemen have reported an increase in children born with deformities as a result of the two-year war that has left the country on the brink of famine.
“These cases of deformities have drastically increased over the past two years, due to the assault on Yemen, the rockets and the cluster bombs,” Doctor Abdulkarim al-Najjar said Wednesday.
Video footage taken from al-Sabeen hospital shows babies brought in from Al-Hudaydah coastal area, which has been targeted by airstrikes. The children have abnormally large skulls and painful-looking swollen heads covered in veins.
Al-Najjar described seeing “unprecedented” deformities in “brains, backbones, throats, digestive and nervous systems,” in babies born in Yemen.
Parents are struggling to get their children the treatment they need. "We urge the organizations and the good-doers assisting us with this case, since we have not found anyone to treat him [his son] in al-Sabeen Hospital due to the lack of means and the wars and the full blockade," one father said.
Doctors in Yemen have been warning about the rise in stillbirths and deformities as a result of the war for some time.
“Fetal malformations could occur due to several reasons, including mothers’ diseases and subsequent viral infection of the faction and/or poor nutrition,” Wafa al-Mamari, an obstetrician at al-Rahma Hospital in northern Sana’a, told Press TV in July.
“The strange thing is that the rate of fetal abnormalities is growing and doctors cannot explain the causes, meaning that the phenomenon could be attributed to war and ordinances, given the fact that a great proportion of women with deformed fetuses hailed from bombarded areas in the provinces of Sa’adah, Sana’a, Ta’izz and Hudaydah,” she said.
Yemen is suffering a humanitarian crisis as the two-year conflict continues between a Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels. The people of Yemen are at the brink of famine, with food and aid supplies cut off and almost seven million being pushed towards starvation, Oxfam warned in its latest release.
The UN estimates at least 10,000 civilian casualties have occurred since March 2015, when Saudi Arabia began bombing the country in support of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who fled Yemen in 2015. The bombardment began to remove the Houthi rebels from the capital, which they had captured in 2014.
On Thursday, Amnesty International again condemned both the US and the UK for supplying arms to Saudi Arabia which have been used to kill civilians. Both countries provide intelligence and logistic support to Saudi Arabia and have, according to Amnesty, sold more than $5 billion in weapons to the kingdom in the last two years.