Yemen’s skies of terror: Three years of war in Yemen

More than 10,000 people have died in the Yemen war which has now entered its fourth year.

The war in Yemen has entered its fourth year. The campaign by the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels has seen more than 16,633 air raids launched across the country since March 26, 2015.

The attacks have devastated Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Middle East.

“My parents and all three sisters were killed by an air strike in our neighbourhood. I don’t know if the world is aware of what is going on here,” said Abu Bakr, a 17-year-old in Yemen’s coastal city of Hodeidah.

“I miss them too much. They are always on my mind. This area has turned bleak without them.”

A third of air raids have targeted non-military sites, with at least 1,491 air raids targeting residential areas.

More than 10,000 people have been killed. With at least 1,600 schools damaged or destroyed in the attacks, more than four million Yemeni children have been unable to attend school.

“Most of the bombings in al-Hodeidah have targeted innocent civilians. Most of the victims are women and children,” said Manal Qaed Alwesabi, a Yemeni journalist from Hodeida who documented Abu Bakr’s story.

“People were sure that if the bombings targeted and destroyed a populated area like this, no person or city will be exempt. Nothing was left untouched, not even the narrow alleyways that even cars cannot get through.”

There are similar stories of indiscriminate bombings from within Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

“All of us fear the raids and shelling,” said 15-year-old Akram who was woken up and rocked by a large explosion on September 18, 2015.

His neighbour’s house was hit, killing 10 members of the family.

“If the Saudis want to defeat the Houthis in Sanaa like they say, they should target the military. They don’t have to bomb civilian houses or destroy our infrastructure. There is no excuse to bomb civilians,” said Sanaa-based Yemeni journalist Ahmad Algohbary.

“Children are scared of the bombing and the sound of the jets. It’s difficult for them to study with the sound of Saudi jets hovering above the capital.”

According to the UN, Yemen could become the worst humanitarian disaster in half a century.

As many as 76 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.

As the war stretches on, Abu Bakr continues to live at his family’s house.

“It is very difficult to continue living in the area where all the members of my family were killed. But I don’t have any other alternative. People think I am lucky because I am alive. But I feel very lonely without my family.”

Yemen’s Skies of Terror is an immersive film by Contrast VR – Al Jazeera’s immersive media studio – providing a rare glimpse of life inside war-torn Yemen. Filmed by journalists Manal Qaed Alwesabi and Ahmad Al Gohbari equipped with 360-degree cameras, the documentary shows the toll the war is taking on those who live in a constant state of fear.

Mobile users click here to view the documentary.

Source: Al Jazeera