Australian support for US and UK strikes on Yemen is a dangerous escalation at a time for peace


The United States announced today that Australia is supporting the US and UK in attacks in Yemen, reportedly targeting several cities in Yemen, including the port city of Hudaydah and the capital Sana’a.

These strikes follow an attempted blockade in the Red Sea from the Yemen-based Houthi movement, which was said to be in response to the State of Israel’s invasion of Gaza. 

The Albanese Government late last year announced it would support the US-led Operation Prosperity Guardian, in the Red Sea and would send additional personnel to the Combined Maritime Forces in Bahrain. Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles said these personnel were involved in supporting the attacks. 

The attacks from the US and UK, supported by Australia, follow a devastating decade-long conflict in Yemen that has killed at least 370,000 people with 60% of the deaths being due to lack of healthcare and food, and 70% being children under the age of five according to the UN. 

Senator David Shoebridge, Greens Spokesperson for Defence, said: 

“The Biden and Albanese administrations repeatedly say they want to avoid the conflict in Gaza spreading in the region, then they do this. The hypocrisy is astounding and damaging to both nations’ credibility.

“Supporting the bombing of one of the only ports in a country that desperately needs to receive medicine, food and supplies is horrific. In the context of Yemen, it is an effective death sentence for thousands of people.

“If you want any clearer proof that the Australian Government has given up any pretence at independence, look at the fact that it was the President of the US, not the Australian Prime Minister, who announced that Australia is involved in bombing another country. 

“An immediate, just and enduring ceasefire in Palestine is the only way to stop the bloodshed.”

Senator Jordon Steele-John Greens Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, said: 

“Today Australia joined in yet another American-led conflict without the support of the Australian community or their parliament.” 

“This is a dangerous escalation in a conflict that our government has spent the last month saying they were trying to avoid.” 

“This military operation is a dangerous contribution to a humanitarian disaster in Yemen that has seen hundreds of thousands of people killed through conflict, starvation and epidemics.” 

“The Australian government has supplied little aid to Yemen in the last decade but had no reservations about getting involved in a military strike that will make a catastrophic humanitarian disaster even worse.”

“Australia must play a constructive role in the global community and that means implementing a parliamentary vote for the deployment of ADF personnel, an end to the AUKUS agreement and to pursue an independent and peaceful foreign policy.”