July 6-12: UAE pulls forces from Hudaydah, cholera cases skyrocket

Sunday, July 7

The pro-Houthi Saba news agency reported that the Houthis have developed new missiles and drones to use against the Saudi-led Coalition supporting the government. The weapons were unveiled at an exhibition on Sunday attended by Mahdi Al-Mashat, president of the rebel’s ruling council. The agency said the exhibition displayed “new models of ballistic and winged missiles and drones made in Yemen,” including the Quds-1 missile, the Samad-3 drone, and the Qasef-2K drone.

 Monday, July 8

 Save the Children reported Monday that the first six months of 2019, Yemen has seen more suspected cholera cases than in the whole of 2018. A total of 439,812 suspected cholera cases were so far identified with some 203,000 children among those affected. The ongoing rainy season exacerbates the situation, with flooding and downpours threatening to intensify the spread of the waterborne disease.

Tuesday, July 9

The United Arab Emirates announced a “strategic redeployment” from the port city of al-Hudaydah Yemen, as well as a more limited tactical retreat elsewhere in the country. The withdrawal had been extensively discussed with Riyadh as well as the Yemeni government, the officials added.

UAE officials stated that oversight of the campaign against the Houthis would be passed to Emirati-trained local Yemeni forces and foreign mercenaries. UAE forces will also remain in Yemen to continue counter-terrorism efforts against al-Qaida and the Islamic State. 

Wednesday, July 10

The United States says it is working to form a military coalition to protect commercial shipping off the coasts of Yemen and Iran amid heightened tensions in the region following attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf. One fifth of the world’s oil travels through that region. Under the proposal, a coalition of nations would patrol strategic waters in the Gulf area and the sea between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday.

Thursday, July 11

Saudi Arabia's military in Yemen moved in to secure two strategic Red Sea ports and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait after the UAE reduced its forces near Hudaydah. UAE officials emphasize that the nation is not leaving a vacuum in Yemen, as it trained about 90,000 local fighters and remains committed to the coalition and the Yemeni government, but their withdrawal did result in the almost immediate expansion of Saudi presence on the ground.

Friday, July 12

The US House of Representatives votes on Friday to cut off American support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Amendments in the annual defense budget bill would prohibit the Pentagon’s support of the coalition and prevent the Trump administration from using emergency authority to transfer $8 billion in weapons to KSA without the approval of lawmakers. “We have to, at this moment, have a check on this president. There is no priority higher than stopping war in the Middle East and the famine in Yemen,”said Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California and the author of the Yemen amendment.