May 8-14: Tensions rise in Soqotra; Coalition launches Hudaydah Offensive


Turki al-Maliki, Spokesperson for the Saudi-led Coalition, gave a lengthy press briefing claiming that the strike on the Yemeni Presidential Palace was aimed at taking out prominent Houthi leaders Mahdi al-Mashat and Mohammed al-Houthi. Okaz believes both of these men to be dead alongside sixty-six other Houthis. Local sources reported mainly civilian casualties from the strike.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released a Yemen Briefing Note highlighting agriculture as one of the most negatively affected sectors in Yemen. FAO is appealing for $57.1 million from donor governments to implement emergency agricultural activities aimed at supporting 5.7 million people.


Pro-government sources say the Houthis declared a state of emergency in the wake of ministers previously loyal to the Houthis fleeing San’a.

Republican Guard Forces lead by Tariq Saleh announced their readiness to launch an operation to liberate Hudaydah and the western coast from Houthi-led militias.


The Yemeni Government submitted an official complaint to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in response to the UAE’s actions and increased military presence on Soqotra Island.

Former US Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein expressed disapproval of the UAE’s actions in Yemen. Feierstein noted that the UAE is operating under UNSC Resolution 2216, which imposes sanctions on those who undermine the security of Yemen, while simultaneously undermining the Yemeni government with no justification for their actions.

Mohammed al-Houthi announced that the Houthis were prepared to stop launching missiles at Saudi Arabia in exchange for the ceasing of airstrikes by the Saudi-led Coalition.


The Yemeni National Army reportedly continued to make progress in Ta’iz, liberating new areas and extracting mines planted by Houthi militias.  

The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR) released a press briefing note highlighting that April has been the deadliest month thus far in 2018, with 236 civilian casualties recorded.

An explosion damaged a Turkish vessel carrying wheat and other emergency food assistance to Yemen. The exact source of the explosion has not been confirmed.


The State Department is taking preliminary steps toward a massive sale of precision guided weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE from Raytheon. This sale will most likely face opposition when presented to members of Congress, who have grown increasingly critical of the US’ role in Yemen.   


Coalition and pro-government forces have launched a long-threatened, large-scale operation in Hudaydah in hopes of gaining back the city and port from Houthi control.