October 31st - November 9th: Escalation of fighting despite US calls for ceasefire; Fighting in Hudaydah threatens hospitals

10/31

Defense Secretary Mattis requested that “all parties” of the conflict in Yemen “take part in UN-led peace talks within the next thirty days.” Secretary of State Pompeo also came forward, urging “the Saudi-led coalition battling the rebel Houthi movement to end its air strikes on populated areas” in exchange for an end to Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.

11/2

The Washington Post reported an increase of airstrikes in San’a and a renewed offensive against the Houthi-controlled city of al-Hudaydah. This surge in violence comes “two days after an American call for a cease-fire.”  

11/4

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths met with a group of independent Yemeni figures in order to discuss the “deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions, the lack of basic services, in addition to necessary steps for de-escalating the conflict in Yemen.” The meeting also addressed ongoing efforts on “Confidence Building Measures” and to restore political functions in the country.

11/5

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) affirmed his commitment to removing US Armed forces from support positions within the Saudi-led coalition, emphasizing that “there is an American imprint on every single civilian death inside Yemen.”

Save the Children reported almost 100 air strikes over the weekend of November 3rd-4th. They expect that this “serious escalation around Yemen's most important port city” of Hudaydah by the Saudi led Coalition, could “further choke delivery of food and medicine to a country where we estimate extreme hunger and disease are killing an average of 100 children each day.” This escalation comes despite US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis calling for a ceasefire by all parties on October 31st.  

11/6

POMED Nonresident Senior Fellow Nadwa Dawsari reported that at least four civilians were killed, another ten injured, in the Houthi shelling of al-Tuhayta in Hudaydah.  

CENTCOM reported “two counterterrorism airstrikes targeting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen in September.” The headquarters of US forces in the region also reported that there were zero airstrikes against AQAP in October.

11/7

Save the Children reported intense fighting near al-Thawrah Hospital in Hudaydah. The organization reports that violence “[damaged] one of the pharmacies that supplies life-saving medicines” and has now reached into the densely populated city. Al-Thawrah is currently reported to be the “only functioning [hospital] in the area.

Amnesty International reported that Houthi gunmen took up positions on a hospital rooftop in al-Hudaydah, “placing numerous civilians inside the building in grave danger.”

11/8

Foreign Policy published a damning op-ed by the founders of Mwatana, a leading Yemeni human rights organization, on the United States’ role in perpetuating suffering within Yemen. The report demands that US policy makers end their human rights double standard and request the end to “U.S. military support for the Saudi-Emirati intervention in Yemen and supporting U.N.-led peace efforts and the reopening of Yemen’s air and sea ports.”

11/9

The Norwegian Refugee Council reported in a press briefing that the coalition launched airstrikes at a hospital in Hudaydah that was partially occupied by Houthi fighters, forcing the facility's evacuation and putting patients at risk. In the same presser, the NRC blasted the international community, and the US and UK in particular, for failing to act to prevent the catastrophe in Hudaydah.