June 22-28: Houthis Attack Civilians in KSA, UN Envoy Meets Yemeni Government in Riyadh

Sunday, June 23

Another Houthi drone attack targeting Saudi Arabia's Abha Airport killed one Syrian resident and injured 21 other civilians from several different nations. The attack was the second in less than two weeks against the same Saudi airport. Ansar Allah claims the airport is used for military operations against Yemen, but publicly available flight data confirms that it is a civilian commercial airport serviced by a number of domestic airlines.

Aden al-Ghad reports that an unnamed Jordanian citizen was released by the Houthis yesterday, Sunday June 22, after being detained for over a year. 

Monday, June 24

Al-Masdar Online tweeted pictures of a pro-Southern Transitional Council march in Shabwah province. 

Tuesday, June 25

Saudi officials announced that Saudi and Yemeni special forces captured the leader of Islamic State’s branch in Yemen, Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, earlier this month. An American official speaking on anonymity confirmed that seizure took place on June 3rd in a raid aided by elite US forces and American intelligence. The Saudi statement made no mention of a US role in the capture.

The Houthi militia blocked a food shipment from the World Food Programme meant to feed 100,000 families. The Houthis ordered over 8,000 tons of food to leave the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, claiming it was contaminated with dead insects.

Aden al-Ghad reports the bombing of a gas pipeline in Rodeh Directorate, Shabwah province. 

According to al-Masdar Online, eight civilians were wounded by Houthi shelling in residential areas of the city of Ta’iz today.

Wednesday, June 26

On Wednesday, Martin Griffiths, the UN peace envoy, met Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar in Riyadh to discuss restarting Yemen’s peace process, which has stagnated in recent months. Griffiths said in a statement, “I had very productive meetings with Vice-President Ali Mohsen. I was encouraged by the openness and flexibility of the Government of Yemen and its continued commitment towards achieving peace."

Electricity outages were reported in Aden by southern news outlet Aden al-Ghad. 

Al-Masdar Online notes that according to a report from the Mothers of Abductees Association, 128 people have died under torture in Houthi- and UAE-run prisons. 

Thursday, June 27

A State Department report this week revealed that the United States has taken in just 50 Yemeni refugees since the start of the conflict in 2015, which has displaced more than 3 million people. The number of Yemeni refugees resettled in the US has fallen almost to zero since Trump entered office; just two Yemeni refugees were resettled in the US in fiscal year 2018 and one has been resettled so far in fiscal year 2019.

Academics at the University of Ta’iz protested today due to their salaries going unpaid, reports al-Masdar Online.

Al-Mahrah post reports that the Houthis claim to have downed a Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Hudaydah governorate.

Friday, June 28

The United Arab Emirates announced that it is scaling back its military presence in Yemen as worsening US-Iran tensions threaten security closer to home. The UAE has pulled some troops from the southern port of Aden and Yemen’s western coast, areas where the UAE has historically supported local forces in the battle against Houthi forces. Three diplomats said Abu Dhabi wished to have its forces and equipment readily available and prepared should tensions between the United States and Iran escalate.

Al-Masdar Online reports that seven civilians were killed today and four were wounded by coalition forces in Ta’iz. 

Al-Masdar Online also tweeted today that approximately 5,000 mines were removed in Hajjah province.