Glimmer of hope emerges for peace in Yemen as humanitarian crisis worsens

ADEN, Yemen — There is a glimmer of hope for peace in Yemen amid a civil war that has created a humanitarian disaster. On Thursday, the warring sides met in Sweden and began discussing prisoner swaps.

The stakes couldn't be higher for Yemenis like Amani, who is covered in sores from advanced malnutrition. Her father Youssif al Afari described conditions at home as desperate, with so little food that Amani is now in intensive care. She is just one of thousands of victims of a war that's now put 14 million people facing starvation this winter.

The fighting in Yemen has raged on and off since 2015. At least 10,000 civilians have lost their lives in what boils down to a regional power struggle. On one side are Houthi militias backed by Iran. On the other, there is a coalition of Arab militaries and the Yemeni government, led by Iran's arch rival Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is in turn backed by the U.S., which has supplied vital intelligence as well as billions of dollars' worth of sophisticated weapons.

In August, a Saudi airstrike hit a school bus, killing 40 Yemeni students. The missile was an American-made laser-guided bomb.

Congress is now trying to withdraw American military support for the Saudis in this war, in part because Jamal Khashoggi's murder, but also because it's become a shocking humanitarian scandal.

  • Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."