August 7-14: Conversation over San'a Airport continues; further clashes between AQAP and pro-Hadi forces

Monday, August 7


The State Department released a report on terrorism in Yemen, which argued that the ongoing civil war benefits al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Read more here.

Science News published an article describing the work of Rowa Mohammed Assayaghi, a medical microbiologist at San’a University, in combating the spread of cholera in Yemen.

Tuesday, August 8

Reuters reported that, because of inadequate funding, Yemen’s National Blood Transfusion Centre is at risk of being forced to shut down. Although the World Health Organization is attempting to resupply the national blood bank, the Centre’s operations are suffering from a severe lack of supplies.

Reuters reported four soldiers and six AQAP militants killed in an AQAP assault on an army camp in Yemen’s southern Abyan governorate. The attack came in the wake of a Yemeni military operation to clear the neighboring Shabwah governorate of its AQAP presence.

Wednesday, August 9

Keith Vaz, a British Member of Parliament from the Labour Party, called for greater media coverage of the civil war in Yemen and urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to address that war at the United Nations. Vaz called the war “a stain on the collective morality of the United Kingdom, the US, the EU, and ultimately on the UN itself.”

According to Reuters, more than a dozen aid groups signed a letter calling on the parties to the Yemeni civil war to reopen the San’a airport, which is currently under Houthi control. The closure of the airport and the resulting inability of medical patients to seek international treatment has resulted in some 10,000 deaths, more than the number killed by Saudi-led coalition bombardments, according to a Yemeni health ministry statement that cited United Nations figures.

Thursday, August 10

In an article in The Guardian, Red Cross worker Choung-Kyu Ryu described the causes and consequences of Yemen’s cholera epidemic. Ryu wrote that cholera can be “very easy to prevent and treat,” but warned that the civil war has undermined Red Cross operations.

Reuters reported that the Saudi-led coalition invited the United Nations to take control of Yemen’s airport in San’a.

The Washington Post reported that smugglers have thrown 280 migrants who were hoping to reach Gulf countries via Yemen into the ocean. The smugglers, who intended to drown the migrants off the Yemeni coast, killed more than 50 people.

Friday, August 11

United Nations Spokesman Stephane Dujarric clarified that the UN is not taking control of the airport, despite a Saudi-led coalition invitation to do so. Dujarric said that, “The parties to the conflict have the responsibility to ensure the protection of civilians and their access to humanitarian relief, including through the use of airspace and airport.”

Saturday, August 12

The Washington Post reported that four Emirati soldiers died in a helicopter crash in Yemen’s Shabwah governorate while participating in the ongoing effort to clear that province of AQAP militants.

Reuters reported on a Houthi attempt to strike a coalition ship in the al-Mokha port. The Houthi-controlled SABA News Agency claimed that the strike was successful, but coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki contested that claim.

Monday, August 14

The World Health Organization announced that 500,000 cases of cholera have been reported in Yemen this year, resulting in nearly 2,000 deaths.

Middle East Eye reported that Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammad bin Salman wants to end his country’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war. In a conversation with former US officials Martin Indyk and Stephen Hadley, the prince, who has directed Saudi military efforts in Yemen from Riyadh, said he could even accept American engagement with Iran under certain conditions.