Never forget: 2015 ISIS massacre in Sanaa, Yemen — a bloody prelude to 2 years of catastrophic war

When extremist groups attack the West, a refrain is repeated vociferously and incessantly: “Never forget!” The victims of those same groups who have the misfortune being born on the other side of the planet, however (especially those with the temerity to be living in a country presently being bombed by the West), are not afforded the same empathy, yet alone solidarity.

In the spirit of this much-needed solidarity, then, let us recall a horrific crime committed by ISIS in one of such countries — and remind readers that it is in fact Muslims who are the primary victim of ISIS and other extremist Islamist groups.

Two years ago today, on March 20, 2015, ISIS attacked Shia mosques in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. The genocidal Salafi group launched four suicide bombings during midday prayers, killing 142 people and wounding another 351.

The so-called Islamic State intentionally targeted Zaidi mosques for the massacre, and terrorized Sanaa, in majority-Shia north Yemen, after the Houthis had taken over.

Photograph by @simonnorfolkstudio On this day (20th March) in 2015 the Yemeni crisis took a deadly turn: The al-Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques in Sana'a, the country's largest city, came under quadruple suicide attack during midday prayers. The blasts killed 142 people and wounded more than 351, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in Yemen's history. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL / ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. According to the United Nations, 16,200 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015 including 10,000 civilians. The humanitarian situation in what was already one of the world’s poorest nations, is now, after Syria, the most critical on the planet, with 20% of Yemenis severely food insecure. Sana'a, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on account of its distinctive architectural character. The World Heritage Committee has also voiced concern over the damage inflicted to this great Islamic city. Follow @simonnorfolkstudio for updates, outtakes, unpublished and archive material. @instituteartist @michaelhoppengallery @benrubi_gallery @galleryluisotti @natgeo #cityscape #photojournalism #islamicarchitecture #islamic #documentaryphotography #simonnorfolkstudio #simonnorfolk #reportage #Yemen #Sanaa #photojournalism #journalism #documentaryphotography #UNESCO #CivilWar #war #conflict #arabianpeninsular #arabia #isis #simonnorfolkstudio #simonnorfolk #worldheritage #terrorism #terroristattack

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A week after the ISIS slaughter, the US and its close ally Saudi Arabia began brutally bombing Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, in hopes of ousting the Houthis and restoring the government of Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi (who fled to Saudi Arabia when the Houthis took over, and lived in Riyadh for months, as the Saudi regime pulverized his country — with weapons, fuel, and extensive military assistance from the US).

Well over 10,000 airstrikes later, at least one-third of which have hit civilian areas, more than 10,000 Yemeni civilians have been killed — and the relentless bombing continues.

And those are just the violent deaths; an additional tens of thousands of — likely more than 100,000 — Yemenis have also died from preventable causes, as the war has (intentionally) destroyed food production and ravaged the health system, plunging the impoverished country into what the UN has repeatedly reported is the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”

Meanwhile, the group that has benefited the most from the destructive US-fueled war has been al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the most violent branch of the global extremist group.