November 6-13; Coalition Institutes Full Blockade on Yemen, Exacerbates Humanitarian Crisis


In a phone call on Saturday, President Trump and King Salman discussed the attempted Houthi missile attack on the Riyadh airport, and Trump stated that he supported selling more military equipment to Saudi Arabia.


After Saudi Arabia intercepted a Houthi missile, the Saudi-led coalition announced that it would close all of Yemen’s air, land, and sea ports, under the pretense of  of preventing the flow of arms from Iran to the Houthis.


Yemeni President Hadi, his sons, and his officials have been blocked from returning to Yemen from Saudi Arabia, according to anonymous Yemeni officials. One official stated that this is because the UAE--which controls Yemen’s ostensible provisional capital of Aden--doesn’t support Hadi because of his corruption and alliance with the Islah party.


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US is “hazardous to regional health” and destabilizes the region.  


The Saudi Foreign Minister declared that the intercepted Houthi missile is an act of war by Iran, threatening military action in retaliation.


The UN World Food Programme warned that the Saudi-led coalition’s full blockade on Yemen puts hundreds of thousands of children on the brink of starvation.


The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, plans to establish an arms manufacturing industry in the country to “improve self-sufficiency.”


The US Pentagon spokesperson praised Saudi Arabia for “exposing” Iran’s role in Yemen after the Houthi missile interception. Thus far, neither Saudi Arabia nor the US has presented any evidence that Iran provided the missile or assisted with its launch.



Human Rights Watch submitted evidence of Saudi Arabia’s violations of international humanitarian law, which have included the killing and maiming of children, to the Committee on the Rights of the Child as part of its review of Saudi Arabia’s compliance with the protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.


Human Rights Watch stated that the intercepted Houthi missile attack on the Riyadh airport is likely a war crime, but also that the coalition’s restriction on the delivery of humanitarian aid would also violate international humanitarian law.


A journalist who has traveled to Marib described the deteriorating conditions of its hospitals and the effects of the conflict on civilians there.


Saudi airstrikes in Hajjah killed at least 30 Yemenis, including women and children, according to local Yemeni officials.


UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia have increased by almost 500% since the start of the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen, despite evidence of Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations and possible war crimes against Yemeni civilians.



Human Rights Watch stated that the UN Security Council should consider sanctioning the Saudi-led coalition because of its full blockade on Yemeni ports and its disruption of the delivery of vital humanitarian aid.


Al Jazeera elaborated on speculations that the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s goals in the Yemen war have changed and possibly diverged, citing the house arrest of President Hadi in Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s increasing involvement in the conflict compared to Saudi Arabia’s increasing desire to get out of the conflict.


Fuel prices in Yemen have increased since November 6 by 50% because of Saudi Arabia’s blockade.


Radhya Almutawakel, the chairperson of Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, described how the conflict has impacted Yemeni civil society, weakening their independence and ability to address human rights violations. Both sides have launched campaigns to discredit civil society organizations, and these organizations are at risk of being attacked while carrying out their work.


The UNHCR has started its program to give cash assistance to displaced people in Yemen unable to pay for their accommodations.


The UN warned that if Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow humanitarian aid into Yemen, Yemen will face the largest famine that the world has seen in decades.



Reuters describes the dysfunction of Saudi-aligned militias in Yemen, which contributes to the stalling of the coalition’s military campaign. These militia units are underpaid and suffer from disunity, according to the report.


As a result of the Saudi blockade on Yemen, doctors have begun to run out of medicines and vaccines, warning that hundreds of people will die within a week if the blockade continues.


Canadian arms sales to Saudi Arabia increased by 47% in 2016 despite continued controversy over Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations in Yemen and within its own country.


Afrah Nasser, a Yemeni journalist, stated that the Saudi total blockade is a “death sentence” for all Yemenis, and the full extent of the tragedy is unknown because international journalists are blocked from entering the country.


US Congressman Ro Khanna stated in an interview that the US should stop its arms sales and military assistance to Saudi Arabia because of its human rights record and actions in armed conflicts.



UNICEF stated that unless Saudi Arabia opens al-Hudaydah port and the San’a airport, Yemen will run out of fuel and vaccines within a month.



A Yemeni official stated that President Hadi isn’t under house arrest, but that he risks death if he returns to Yemen, and Saudi Arabia fears for his life.


The Saudi-led coalition announced that it would allow some international commercial flights into Yemen. The coalition also opened the Aden port and Wadea land crossing, although ports in Houthi-held areas remain closed.



Although the US has stated that the Houthi missile was likely of Iranian origin, the Houthis deny this claim.


The EU and UN stated that Saudi Arabia’s easing of the blockade of Yemen isn’t enough, urging the coalition to open all ports to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.


The Houthis threatened to attack warships and oil tankers if Saudi Arabia doesn’t reopen Yemeni ports.


An article in the New York Times explains how the cholera epidemic is a result of the war in Yemen. The piece details  the Saudi-led coalition’s bombing of targeting Yemen’s electricity grid and a major wastewater treatment plant, and the resulting contamination of the water supply.