December 11-17: Coalition offensive continues in Tihamah, Islah leader meets with UAE


A pro-coalition article asserted that the United Arab Emirates is in command of the coalition/National Army/Southern Resistance offensive advancing toward Hudaydah.

Al Arabiya reported that Tehran evacuated 40 military advisors, as well as UN workers, from San’a following the death of an Iranian Missile expert who was killed last Saturday.

US Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas), senior members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, are calling for new sanctions on Iran for its destabilizing activities in Yemen. They have introduced a bill they claim will hold Tehran accountable for their support of the Houthis.


Stephen Anderson, the Yemen Country Director for the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), told Reuters that the ongoing coalition-led blockade of ports has the potential to send Yemen into a humanitarian catastrophe. The Saudi coalition introduced to blockade on the pretext of preventing Iran from sending weapons to their Houthi allies, but it has prohibited the delivery of desperately need humanitarian aid.

Russia has completely suspended their diplomatic presence in Yemen, and the Russian Ambassador to Yemen will be temporarily working out of Riyadh. Most other foreign embassies in San’a closed in 2015.


A Houthi political leader met with members of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s GPC Party, just days after the death of Saleh himself. This move was widely regarded as a Houthi attempt to restore an alliance with the party, Al Jazeera reported.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed met on Wednesday evening with the President of the Supreme Committee of the Islah Movement, Mohammad Abdullah al-Yidumi. Al-Yidumi applauded the meeting, claiming it was constructive and positive, and that Islah’s relationship with the UAE and Saudi Arabia is an extension of brotherly relations in the Gulf. Thus far, the UAE has refused to support pro-government forces affiliated with Islah because of the party's ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, which the UAE considers a terrorist organization.


In a Congressional Hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee entitled "U.S. Policy and Strategy in the Middle East", Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) noted her desire to hold Saudi Arabia to a higher standard regarding their involvement in the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

The International Crisis Group published a map of U.S.-Iran potential flashpoints, indicating Sa'dah and Bab al-Mandab are "severe" flashpoints. These are the only two locations identified by the group in Yemen.


The National reported that the U.S. presented evidence to the international community “proving” that the missile fired by the Houthis at Riyadh was supplied by Iran. This evidence was presented by Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., who claimed that the U.S. is working towards coordinating a international effort to counter Iran’s actions.

UNHCR is bracing themselves for increasing needs and further displacement as increased fighting along the west coast intensifies the humanitarian crisis.


Al Jazeera was told by health officials that at least ten women were killed in a coalition airstrike in the Marib Governorate. The Saudi-led coalition has not yet publicly commented on the air strike, but this would not be the first time they have bombed civilians participating in a wedding.