While an abundance of attention has been placed on the alarming growth of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the world has largely overlooked the civil war in Yemen, which has been ongoing for nearly a year. After Houthi rebels took control of the government and forced the president to step down, Saudi Arabia intervened in March of 2015 with airstrikes and a naval blockade.
They have since been joined by a coalition of 9 other Middle Eastern and African countries, who are intent on removing the Houthis from power because it’s believed that the Iranians are backing them. Since the Saudi-led intervention began, 7,000 people have been killed by their airstrikes, many of them women and children.
Of course, a war in the Middle East wouldn’t be complete unless the US was involved in some capacity. Officially, our government is only providing logistical support and intel for the Saudis, as well as the occasional drone strike. However, there is a bit more to it than that, because the Saudi coalition has employed hundreds of mercenaries from South America (mainly Colombians) and Africa. And these people are being led by mercenaries from Academi, formerly known as Xe, which was formerly known as Blackwater.
The thing people forget about this company is that it blurs the line between mercenaries and state-sanctioned armed forces. They get paid like mercenaries, but for all intents and purposes they are US military, because they don’t get involved in any mission unless it is sanctioned by our government.
The purpose of this organization is obvious. They get sent into any situation where our government would rather not send US troops. Any conflict that might result in massive newsworthy casualties, is where Blackwater shows up. Yemen certainly falls under that category, after what happened on Sunday.
The commander of the infamous US security firm, formerly known as Blackwater, and dozens of Riyadh’s mercenaries were killed Saturday in a missile attack by Yemeni forces in Lahij Province.
Colonel Nicholas Petros was killed along with a group of mercenaries fighting for the Saudi regime in its war on Yemen.
Lebanon’s al-Ahed news website reported that Apache helicopters, Typhoon fighter jets and armories belonging to the mercenaries were destroyed in the missile strike.
A spokesman for anti-Ansarullah militants loyal to Yemen’s former fugitive president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, claimed the missile had been intercepted and did not hit the target.
The most liberal estimate suggest that the attack killed 200 Blackwater-led, Sudanese mercenaries, but those numbers are difficult to confirm. At the very least, the casualties are numbered in the ‘dozens’.
And that’s why Blackwater is there. They exist to soften the casualty rates of US personnel. They make it easier for our government to go to war without dealing with public opinion. Could you imagine if a group like the Taliban or ISIS, blew up a US Army Colonel along with dozens of his soldiers? It would be in the news for weeks. Instead, there hasn’t been a single peep from our media about this situation.
In other words, Blackwater gets paid to cover up the failures of our foreign interventions, because nobody gives a crap when mercenaries die. And they’ve made it incredibly easy for our media to ignore one of the worst military blunders in recent American history.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.