April 16-30: Yemeni-American immigration woes, fighting in Ta'iz, Aden detention center hunger strike


The Prime Minister of Yemen, Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr, claimed his return to Aden will bring stability to the city because government forces will use all of their capabilities to combat threats to security. High-level government officials have been largely absent from the city that officially serves as their provisional capital.


UN Special Envoy Griffiths said he will unveil a new plan to end the conflict in Yemen within two months.

Administration officials have come into conflict with senators who are urging the US to end support for the Saudi-led coalition unless it takes “urgent steps,” CNN reports. Administration officials argue that countering Iran is essential and that the situation would be worse if the US pulls out.

Human Rights Watch released a report detailing the abuse and torture awaiting African migrants in Yemeni prisons. Read our summary here.


In the absence of consent from Hadi’s government for military operations, many of the United States’ current operations in Yemen would likely violate Article 2(4) of the UN Charter’s prohibition on use of force, Just Security writes.  

Foreign Minister Al-Mikhlafi reportedly claimed that the dispute between the Saudis and the UAE is what is delaying president Hadi’s return to Aden, and called for the differences between the two coalition members to be resolved.

The UAE is reportedly planning to recruit troops from Uganda to widen its military operations in Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition is likely preparing for a new Hudaydah offensive in an effort to isolate the Houthis, Critical Threats claims, potentially undermining UN efforts to negotiate a peace settlement.


The Congress must push US policy towards using leverage to lead the negotiation process, end the war, allow free access through the ports, and protect civilians, Dafna Rand and Jared Wright from Mercy Corps argue in The Hill.

Forces loyal to the late president Saleh fought the Houthis today, the first battle between the two groups since Saleh's death.


The Houthis reported a missile launch targeting Jizan airport for the second time in two days.

Houthis and Yemeni government reportedly agreed to unify the central bank in the face of economic challenges. The salaries of government employees including those in Houthi-controlled areas are expected to be paid starting from June.

Twenty people were killed after an airstrike hit a vehicle transporting passengers south of Ta’iz.

A humanitarian aid worker, Hannah Lahoud, who was in charge of the ICRC’s detention program, was shot and killed in Ta'iz.


The outgoing head of Yemen's Red Cross says that more people are dying from the indirect effects of the war, including the crumbling health system, lack of electricity, and lack of access to needed commodities.


Prisoners at a detention center in Aden have started a hunger strike to protest their indefinite detentions without charges. In a statement, they claimed they would continue the strike until their demands were met and blamed Emirati officials for refusing to let them go.

Sky News Arabic reports that Houthis are pulling troops from fronts in Mareb and Taiz to help reinforce presence against coalition ground offensives in Hudaydah and Sa'dah governorates.

Saudi-led coalition air strikes killed at least twenty people at a wedding near Hajjah.

The head of the Houthis’ Supreme Political Council, Saleh al-Sammad, was killed in a Saudi air raid in Hudaydah. The Houthis reported in a statement that they had elected a successor.


A Yemeni family was left hopeless when they failed to attain a US visa for their severely disabled daughter, whose father is a US citizen. The family is one of thousands who have been stranded in Djibouti or forced back to Yemen after being denied visas due to the recently enacted travel restrictions, Al-Jazeera reports.


The United States’ single-minded focus on defeating Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has led to policies that support problematic partners in the region, contributing to the Yemeni crisis, Abdulrasheed Al-Faqih, the director of the Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, argues in Just Security.

Doctors Without Borders condemned the air strike on the wedding, after the organization received 63 wounded in a hospital it supports in Hajjah. “These people arrived at the hospital in garlands traditionally worn to celebrate marriage. None were armed or arrived in military uniform,” said João Martins, head of Doctors Without Borders’ mission in Yemen.

Yemeni-American families have been caught between the war in Yemen and Trump’s travel ban, leaving many in limbo.

The international law of state responsibility provides a possible ground on which the United States may be liable for its assistance to the Saudi-led coalition, Just Security finds.

A Houthi judge ordered the execution of 13 Yemenis charged with cooperation with the coalition.

Tariq Saleh, the late president Saleh’s nephew, addressed a letter to Yemenis in Houthi-controlled areas claiming that Houthi committees have been arming citizens in the cities of Hodeidah, Taiz, Baida and Amran, and mobilizing them to fight against the national army forces in the west coast.

The director general of the Yemeni Economic Corporation in San’a ordered officials to prepare lists of public employees to be transferred to the fronts to join the Houthi forces. Houthis have also allegedly “paid” imams and community leaders to “mobilize people.”  


UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths’ three-pronged peace plan involves the withdrawal of weapons, a transitional phase with the participation of Houthis in the government, and elections, according to high ranking officials who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat. According to the officials, more controversial issues , such as the situation in the south, would be decided later.

Tariq Saleh’s forces reportedly retreated from al-Tabab after several weeks of intense fighting.

Clashes erupted in Ta’iz between security forces (Islah-affiliated) and Abu al-Abbas battalion. Over the course of the day in Ta’iz, forces affiliated with Islah sought to take control over Ta’iz, citing directives issued by Ta’iz governor which stipulate that all government offices must be evacuated from all militants and handed over to local authorities. Islah-affiliated battalions targeted the 35 armored brigade led by Abi al-Abbas. The armed unit of the Islah-affiliated 22nd armored brigade also targeted residential neighborhoods in Ta’iz with heavy and medium weapons from the surroundings. The attack also targeted the headquarters of the Abu al-Abbas Brigades.


In an article in the Middle East Research and Information Project, Susanne Dahlgren described the Southern Transitional Council’s role in the war in Yemen.

Senator Rand Paul talked on NPR about Yemen and US foreign interventions.

Public Radio International debunked Saudi Arabia’s claim that Houthis are holding oil tankers hostage after speaking with maritime experts.

A surge of clashes in Ta’iz between the battalions of Abu al-Abbas, the Salafi leader in Ta’iz, and military-backed security forces has left the city divided in a deadlock, Middle East Eye reports. The conflict began after security forces arrested members of the battalions, accusing them of being involved in the murder of the Red Cross employee, Hannah Lahoud, on Saturday.

Members of the Arab League and the UN condemned Houthi attacks on Saudi soil.

The new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, reiterated that Saudi Arabia will remain a priority for the US on his first visit to Saudi Arabia.

During a meeting with the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Pompeo told the Saudis to "back down in Yemen" and also ensure that humanitarian actors have easier access, the New York Times reports.


The NY Daily News interviewed an American-Yemeni man, Sulaiman Dihyem, who blames Trump’s immigration policies for the death of his newborn son in Yemen. Sulaiman’s family was denied entry to the US.

Canada is playing a dual role in Yemen: While it has sent $65 million in humanitarian aid, it has also exported $284 million worth of military supplies to coalition countries that are playing a role in Yemen’s destruction.

A coalition air strike in Sana’a killed at least 38 Houthis, including two commanders, according to a Saudi TV station. This claim was contested by Yemeni journalists.

After meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman, internationally-recognized president Hadi is reportedly in Riyadh and is banned from returning to Aden. Hadi has allegedly signed an agreement forming a tripartite committee chaired by Yemen, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia to manage the country.