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  • Writer's pictureAmy Nickell

Air heads on air strikes: Yemen vs Gaza

Updated: Jan 13

At the start of my career, a journalist told me that if a question pops into my head, it’s likely a viewer at home will have had the same one.

Having worked in current affairs for over a decade, I have an informed opinion, but I don’t profess to be an expert in anything, especially the military or geopolitics.

During a newspaper review segment today, we discussed the UK and US military strikes in Yemen.

Last night, the US and the UK led air strikes against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels that have been attacking commercial shipping vessels in the Suez Canal – a critical route for international trade - stuff we need and depend on.

The blockade in the Red Sea has been in place since late last year, targeting Western vessels in protest against Israel’s military action in Gaza.

These attacks on innocent nonpolitical mariners included taking US and UK citizens as hostages and continued relentlessly in the face of any attempt at diplomacy.

The Houthis have been using anti-ship ballistic missiles against Western commercial ships – including oil, medical supplies and also supplies to ordinary high streets retailers like Next and Ikea.

Side bar – the Houthi rebels have been accused of various human rights abuses over the years, including indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, recruitment of child soldiers, interference with humanitarian aid in Yemen, and contributing to the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in the region.

The strike action was swift and precise and harmed no civilians while taking out crucial Houthi military bases, command centres and critically clearing the shipping route, protecting any now passing through, for now anyway.

Clearly, it was a justified retaliation against a force that, if left unchecked, would cause enormous shocks to the global economy.

Meanwhile, the IDF, one of the most powerful and sophisticated military forces, previously described as having 'Matrix-like capabilities', claims to be also using precision tactics in Gaza…with wildly differing results.

The IDF are quite capable of precision attacks and yet are killing civilians in shocking numbers.

20k civilians.

8k children.

100 journalists.

Across the whole territory, about 33% of buildings are destroyed, and Gaza has been left unliveable.

That’s a lot of human shields…

During our segment today, I questioned the validity of the IDF claims of precise attacks, which has been met with criticism, including one especially vexed critic in former Navy Officer, Dr Chris Parry.

Is this a reasonable take, or am I indeed an ‘airhead’? I do invite critique, but baseless sexist insults will never make sense. But maybe that’s because I’m too blonde or something…

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