January 8-15: US official optimistic about port access; WaPo previews UN Expert Panel report


The Economist published an article on the recent movements of the Yemeni National Army. The Army had previously been trapped in a year-long stalemate, but have recently started making progress toward Hudaydah, as well as making gains in al-Jawf in the north and Shabwah in the south. The Economist attributed these recent movements to the opportunities that have been created from shifting alliances since Saleh’s death in December.

Afrah Nasser asserted in an article published by openDemocracy that Yemen continues to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. One point of particular concern to Nasser is the face that the number of civilian deaths reported is inconsistent with the level of suffering that is occurring on the ground.

Al Sharq al Awsat reported the arrival of the Deputy UN Envoy to Yemen in San’a in order to revive U.N. led Yemen Peace Negotiations.


The Trump Administration is close to completing a “Buy American” Plan that will call for the US military and diplomats to help spur business overseas for the U.S. weapons industry. This plan will also lessen restrictions on exports and increase economic benefits for American manufacturers.


The Carnegie Middle East Center published a report by Nadwa al-Dawsarion the widely-held misconception that Yemeni tribes are assisting al-Qaeda. Al-Dawsari asserts that tribes have a much greater capacity to operate in Yemen than do al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State.

The Washington Post received quotes from the anticipated report to the UN Security Council by the Council’s Panel of Experts on Yemen. The report is expected to have harsh words for Saudi Arabia and the UAE for their continued involvement in the “fragmentation of the state.” It will also state that the Saudi-led coalition’s efforts to reduce civilian casualties have been ineffective.


Peter Salisbury of Chatham House was published in the Washington Post and made the following assertions about Yemen: 1) The situation on the ground is far more complex than Houthis vs. Hadi, 2) Many groups ostensibly fighting the Houthis have profited from the thriving war economy, 3) The Houthis were stronger than many had assumed and no longer have to worry about internal threats.

Yemen Voice reported that Egypt is going to be decreasing their diplomatic presence in Yemen.

In a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on the role of the United States in Syria Post-ISIS, David Satterfield, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau for Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department, noted that he received assurances from the Saudi government that there would be no further port closures in Yemen.


Relief Web published a report by the Logistics Cluster in Yemen that noted thirteen ships have delivered food commodities and fuel to Yemen since the blockade was loosened on December 20th.

There has been very little recovery in Mukalla since it was liberated from AQAP in 2016, according to Al Jazeera, and the Hadi government is notably absent from this area.


Aden al-Ghad noted a recent increase in violence in Lahj as a result of recent setbacks faced by Houthi militias in Hudaydah and Ta’iz.

Houthi militias successfully kidnapped the son of Yemen’s Vice President, Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar, according to Al Arabiya.


Hisham al-Omeisy, a prominent Yemeni activist, was released after being detained by the Houthis since August 14th. Al-Omeisy is just one of the many activists, journalists, and lawyers subject to arbitrary detention and, potentially, torture by the Houthis in Yemen.


Al Arabiya reported that the Houthis have begun to recruit and train women to serve as fighters after facing grave losses over the past few months.