Facing a manpower shortage, Houthi militias are reportedly forcing government employees to fight alongside them on the front lines.
Amid several defeats in Sa’dah and Hudaydah, the Houthis have reportedly turned to Oman to help put forward an urgent initiative to reach a political solution to the conflict.
The Yemen Data Project released statistics on civilian casualties resulting from Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in April 2018, finding that the targeting of civilian vehicles intensified while overall air raids decreased by 12% from the monthly average.
On a visit to Marib, the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen announced reconstruction and development projects that include a regional airport. Previous Saudi promises, such as commitments to improve the ports of Aden and Mukalla, have not been honored.
The potentially imminent battle for Hudaydah in the upcoming weeks is provoking alarm among humanitarian organizations. As coalition-backed forces approach the city, aid agencies warn that the battle for the port city would cut off a key life line for civilians, prompting a humanitarian disaster and loss of lives. Roughly 80% of humanitarian supplies sent to Yemen enter through the port of Hudaydah, where the coalition already imposes strict, arbitrary restrictions, and the battle would likely disrupt these remaining supply lines.
The Department of Defense released a report finding that nearly 500 civilians have been killed in US military operations in the past year. This number is well under the assessments of organizations such as Airwars. The DoD report did not state how many of those civilian deaths occurred in Yemen.
As coalition-backed forces approached Hudaydah, fighting on the west coast led to the deaths of at least 28 people on both sides of the conflict in the past week.
Are Yemeni government and Coalition forces prepared to protect civilians in the event of a battle for Hudaydah? Just Security examines this question with an eye toward the US’ potential decision on whether to assist the UAE in the offensive on Hudaydah.
The Washington Post spoke to State Department officials who said that the US is still urging the UAE not to launch an offensive on Hudaydah. Other sources have reported that Secretary of State Pompeo is considering reversing that position, while UAE officials claim that they have “no control” over government and resistance forces, who might initiate an attack on the city without approval.