July 17 - July 23: US Congress Ups Criticism of Saudi-led Coalition; Airstrike in Ta'iz Kills 20


A suicide bomber killed 5 Yemeni soldiers outside a government army compound. A local security official blamed the attack on AQAP.

Government forces attacked a Houthi area in the southwest, killing 15 Houthis and 8 soldiers.

The foreign minister of Iran, Javad Zarif, said he hoped the conflict in Yemen wouldn’t cause confrontation with Saudi Arabia, and that he hoped Saudi Arabia and Iran could work together to end the conflict.

FCNL reports that The House of Representatives has voted to end American backing for the Saudi coalition’s war in Yemen. This is in direct opposition to President Trump’s support for the Saudi-led coalition’s military campaign. The amendments passed by the House will now face another vote in the Senate.

The Washington Post’s editorial board criticized the world’s response to Yemen’s cholera epidemic as lacking. The UN has only received 43% of its funding to fight famine in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, and South Sudan. In Yemen, donors have raised less than 40% of the necessary aid to prevent famine, and some of this aid has been diverted to fight cholera. Although the US has increased its donations to Yemen, it has done little to end the Saudi-led coalition’s blockade which prevents food imports from reaching civilians.

The Atlantic Council warned that Yemen’s water crisis is transforming Yemen into an international security concern as extremist groups and political parties use water shortages to their advantage, exacerbating humanitarian suffering. In response, the US should oppose the Saudi-led coalition’s plan to seize the port of al-Hudaydah and reform the negotiation framework to achieve the peace needed to improve water infrastructure.  

The UN special envoy to Yemen announced a plan for the port of al-Hudaydah, currently controlled by the Houthis, stating that a neutral third party should control it.


An op-ed in Foreign Policy in Focus stated that the US is making the same mistakes in Yemen as they did in Iraq, which will only increase radicalization. Groups like AQAP use the chaos and slaughter as recruitment tools.

An op-ed in the Washington Posts opines that Saudi-alliance feud with Qatar is an ill-fated gamble destined to fail, as there is no way to back out, and the feud has not brought Qatar in line with Saudi positions, but rather pushed them into a closer alliance with Iran. This is similar to Saudi missteps in Yemen, in that they overestimated the strength of their positions, and overplayed their hand.

A UN flight carrying journalists and aid agency staff to Houthi-controlled San’a was blocked by the Saudi coalition, Al Jazeera and Reuters reports, apparently because of three BBC journalists on board, claiming they could not guarantee their safety. Others raise the alarm that this hostility to journalists is part of why Yemen coverage has been so lacking in the international press.

Saudi coalition airstrikes have enabled the Yemeni government to retake control over the the Ta’iz-Hudaydah road that leads to the port city, according to government news sources and local commanders.

Indiana Senator Todd Young has called out Saudi Arabia for violating human rights because it is preventing the delivery of cranes that would help off-load food and aid to civilians in need in Yemen, USA Today reports.

Huffington Post reported that a Senate hearing on famines highlighted Saudi Arabia’s role in the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. One particular area of focus was the humanitarian effect of Saudi Arabia’s refusal to allow cranes to be delivered to the port of al-Hudaydah.


The UN released a statement condemning the civilian deaths that resulted from the Saudi air strikes that enabled government forces to take the Ta’iz-Hudaydah road.

The Independent described the Saudi attack in Ta’iz that killed 20 civilians who had been displaced to escape violence. Many of the civilians were from the same family.

The Guardian reports that multiple charities have urged the UN to call out Saudi Arabia for its airstrikes which have killed or maimed more than 120 children in the last year. These charities want the UN to include Saudi Arabia in its report on child rights violations in conflicts, a report that includes a blacklist of countries and groups that have committed violations.


A report by UK-based rights group shows in their “Peoples Under Threat” report that Yemen shows the most rise in risk of mass killing in this past year, Al Jazeera reports. Syria topped the list, but Yemen showed the most dramatic risk increase.

According to Reuters, the Qatar dispute and the resulting coalition infighting could fragment the Yemeni government. Qatar is accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, a key issue in the crisis; the Yemeni government includes many members of the Islah party, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood. The UAE has already expressed concerns over Islah’s power and withheld support for fighters linked to Islah, slowing down the coalition’s offense. The UAE also supports militias in the south of Yemen who are hostile to Islah.

The Chief Executive of Textron, an aerospace defense conglomerate, said that the company has begun talks with Saudi Arabia about its new Textron Airland Scorpion light attack aircraft.

According to Foreign Policy, 4000 children have been killed or wounded during the conflict in Yemen.


Campaign Against Arms Trade, a UK-based group, stated that the UK has sold weapons to 20 countries on the UK’s list of human rights violators, deals worth 820 million pounds.

The UN and Oxfam, an international aid organization, warned that the cholera epidemic in Yemen will likely worsen in the upcoming rainy season.


The World Health Organization reported that it records 5,000 new cases of cholera every day in Yemen. Since April, it has recorded over 368,000 cases of cholera. Although the last few weeks have seen a slight decline in new cases, the WHO spokeswoman warned that the rainy season would exacerbate the epidemic.

A Huffington Post op-ed stated that the political aspect of the cholera epidemic has been overlooked. The political stagnation of the conflict worsens the humanitarian crisis, and the possible political collapse could spell an even worse situation for Yemenis.

A Washington Post article analyzed Oman’s history of neutrality and its role in mediating Yemen, speculating that Oman could be a mediator in the Qatar crisis as well.


A Just Security piece recommended that the US urgently re-energizes the negotiations process, increase pressure on the Houthis without causing humanitarian disaster, and clarify the parameters of a peace deal so that the Houthis may find the settlement compelling and be more likely to negotiate.

Campaign Against Arms Trade revealed numbers showing that the UK approved 283 million pounds worth of arms to Saudi Arabia in the six months after the devastating airstrike on a funeral that killed 140 people.

CARE, an international human rights organization, described the conflict in Yemen as “an absolute shame on humanity” because of the thousands of casualties, the impending famine, the lack of access to water, and the devastating cholera outbreak.


Peter Maurer, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, visited Yemen to get a firsthand look at the cholera epidemic and humanitarian disaster. He urged the parties to the conflict to allow humanitarian aid to be distributed. He is expected to discuss the disappearances and illegal detentions of Yemenis as well.