March 8-14: Civilian death toll rises in Hajjah, Senate passes war powers bill

Friday, March 8

People are protesting for a fourth day in Aden after Raafat Danbaa, who allegedly witnessed the rape of a seven-year-old boy by UAE-backed fighters, was found dead. The Yemeni government has set up a committee to investigate his death. The UAE has faced numerous accusations of various human rights abuses since taking control of southern Yemen.

In the al-Durayhimi area of Hudaydah, fighting broke out between Houthi and coalition forces. A coalition officer reported that the Houthis prompted the attack and that this was the second attack in 24 hours. Sporadic fighting has taken place since the Stockholm agreement, preventing the successful withdrawal of forces from Hudaydah.

Saudi Arabia shot down a drone that was flying over the kingdom. The Saudi-led coalition accused the Houthis of launching the drone and using it to target civilians.

Sunday, March 10

UNICEF says it has started paying over 136,000 teachers and school staff in Yemen. UNICEF believes an estimated 3.7 million children will benefit from this as 2 million out of 7 million school-aged children are already out of school because of the conflict and economic crisis.

Monday, March 11

Pro-Hadi news source Yemen Now tweeted on the Hadi government’s displeasure with the UN’s perceived silence concerning Houthi attacks on civilians in Hajjah province.

The Women’s Solidarity Network posted a statement on their Facebook page calling for humanitarian action in response to the intensification of conflict in the areas of Yemen not covered by the Stockholm agreements, such as the Kushar district of Hajjah.

There have been over 5,000 cases of child recruitment since the beginning of the conflict, according to a non-government source. The article also states that around 4 million children have been prevented from receiving an education due to the destruction of schools and infrastructure during the conflict.

Al-Masdar Online discusses water access issues in the city of Ta’iz. This article, citing a report from Al Jazeera, states that Houthi forces control the city’s main source of water east of Ta’iz and have been restricting access to water as part of a siege on the city. Meanwhile, qat farmers to the west of Ta’iz require large amounts of water for their fields and use a significant portion of the available water resources, leaving little for the city’s residents.

Aden al-Ghad reports that all communication systems in the Hajur tribal area have been cut off by the Houthis. This action was followed by two days of large-scale destruction of civilian homes in the area, according to journalist Faisal al-Shababi.

Tuesday, March 12

A prominent Yemeni Baha’i leader, Hamed bin Haydara, was sentenced to death in a Houthi court for espionage and apostasy charges. The international community is concerned that the Houthis are purposely targeting the religious minority group. Over 100 Baha’is are being held on false charges.

Twelve children and ten women were killed following Saudi-led airstrikes in Hajjah Governorate, while thirty people were injured. The strikes were intended to target Houthi forces attacking tribal fighters and civilians in the area.

A UN humanitarian agency has stated that Hajjah province has become another flashpoint in the country’s civil war. The district of Kushar in Hajjah province is only 31 miles from the Saudi border. The ongoing fighting has trapped civilians between the warring parties and the number of displaced people has doubled in the past six months.

The UN Security Council is urging Yemen’s warring parties to implement the peace deal in Hudaydah. The five permanent members released a statement saying they were “extremely concerned” that the agreement in Stockholm had not been implemented.

Al-Masdar Online reports that clashes erupted Sunday evening between tribal gunmen and Saudi forces in al-Mahrah province. Tribal elements in the area reportedly oppose the Saudi military presence in the province.

Baseem al-Jenani reports on continued shelling by the Houthis in Hudaydah, which continue to hinder the progress of Stockholm agreement implementations.

Aden 24 reports that Saudi-funded mine removal teams removed over 2,000 mines and pieces of unexploded ordnance in the first week of March.

Wednesday, March 13

The Senate passed S.J.Res.7, a war powers measure to end US military participation in the war in Yemen. The measure will now go to the House, where a similar piece of legislation passed last month. President Trump has promised to veto S.J.Res.7 if it passes the House as expected.

The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of committing “acts of genocide” against civilians in Hajjah province. Yemen’s information minister states that the Houthis are using heavy weaponry, including ballistic missiles, to target civilian homes. The fighting has persisted for more than a month and thousands of civilians are unable to flee and lack access to basic necessities.

Amnesty International reports that several children have been sexually abused in the city of Ta'iz over the past eight months. Some of these crimes were committed by members of a coalition-backed, pro-Islah militia. The report calls on the Yemeni government to investigate these crimes and to protect the children and their families from militia retaliation.

Thursday, March 14

TeleYemen, Yemen’s largest telecommunications company, has relocated to Aden and is back under the government’s control. TeleYemen was previously headquartered in San’a, which gave the Houthis exclusive rights to provide international communications access. According to the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information, private telecommunications companies operating out of San’a are indirectly financing the Houthis’ war efforts through taxes. Between 2014 and 2017 the Houthis received $2 billion from telecommunication companies. The ministry is taking action to combat this.

Al-Masdar Online discusses the disconnect between the Central Bank of Yemen recognized by the international community, located in government-controlled Aden, and the San’a-based Central Bank that has fallen under Houthi control since their takeover of the city. While the official headquarters of the Central Bank was moved to Aden by the Hadi government in 2016, the San’a-based banking system now controlled by the Houthis continues to function, controlling currency exchange points and ATMs, often under policies which conflict with those instituted by the government in Aden. The article illuminates how this discrepancy contributes to the instability of the Yemeni financial system.

An article from al-Masdar Online discusses a protest today by the Mothers of Abductees Association in Ibb province. The protest was held to draw attention to the practice of blackmailing abductees’ families by Houthi militias in the area.

February 22 - March 1: Houthis intensify attacks on Hajjah tribes, Hudaydah progress stalls

Friday, February 22

Yemen’s Ministry of Culture provided the government’s first official account of lost cultural property and artifacts since the war began. The government accuses Houthi rebels of smuggling stolen antiquities out of the country and selling them on the black market. Further, many documents and manuscripts have been destroyed and are missing, and some historical sites are under great threat. The government’s account only places blame on the Houthis for the destruction of Yemen’s cultural heritage, despite the fact that the Saudi-led coalition is known to have damaged or destroyed a number of cultural sites in airstrikes.

UNICEF Yemen reports that over 2 million children in Yemen are now out of school. Many schools across Yemen have been damaged or occupied by armed forces, or used to house displaced people. Teachers--like many civil servants--have gone without salaries for much of the war’s duration.

Earlier this month CNN released a report that stated that Saudi Arabia and The United Arab Emirates had transferred US weapons to unaccountable militias. On Thursday, presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren issued a letter with questions about the suspected arms transfer to acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Warren believes addressing the diversion of US weapons is crucial to holding partners accountable and protecting national security.

Houthi militias attacked the Yahiya tribe in Hajjah province today, according to al-Masdar Online

Saturday, February 23

The UAE backed Security Belt Forces took control of an al-Qaeda training base in Abyan Governorate. Abyan has a reputation as a stronghold for AQAP. On Friday night a military campaign to remove al-Qaeda from Aumaran valley was launched. Thus far, the Security Belt Forces claim to have driven AQAP fighters out of Hadhramawt, large portions of Shabwah, and “90%” of Abyan.

Clashes were reported between Security Belt Forces and al-Qaeda in a number of valleys in al-Mawdiah district, according to southern news outlet Aden al-Ghad.

Sunday, February 24

The Houthis are scheduled to withdraw troops from the ports of Saleef, used for grain, and Ras Isa, an oil terminal, on Monday as the first step in the UN-brokered deal. The second step, Houthi withdrawal from al-Hudaydah Port and a pull-back by coalition forces, will take place at a later time. Successful implementation of the deal is crucial to averting a renewed offensive by UAE-led forces, and guaranteeing commercial and humanitarian access to the ports.

Fighting between the Houthis and Yemeni tribes in Hajjah has intensified. Tribal sources confirm that 45 Houthi fighters have died as a result of the fighting.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and hosts Sweden and Switzerland will convene a pledging conference for the humanitarian response in Yemen. The UN is seeking international support for the 80% of the Yemeni population in need humanitarian assistance. In December the UN asked for $4.2 billion for Yemen. The World Food Program aims to help 12 million people a month in 2019 and will need $1.5 billion.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says the UK will pledge £200 million in aid to Yemen, but that their arms policy toward Saudi Arabia would not change. This comes after recent criticism of Britain’s arms exports to Saudi Arabia.  

Pro-government news site Yemen Now tweeted that a Houthi missile attack in Sa’dah killed and wounded more than 70 civilians.

Monday, February 25

H.J.Res.37 was expected to be considered by the Senate this week. However, Republican leadership has “de-privileged” the resolution, which means that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will not allow a vote on the legislation despite its passage in the House.

Human Rights Watch says that Qatar is threatening to expel a Yemeni national without considering his claim for asylum. The Yemeni national should qualify for asylum under Qatari law. However, for Qatar’s asylum law to go in to effect, a Committee for Political Asylee Affairs needs to be created, but there is no timeline for when this will be.

President Trump announced on Twitter that Danny Burch, and US citizen who had been held hostage in Yemen for 18 months, had been freed with the help of the UAE. Burch worked for the Yemeni Safer oil company at the time he was abducted.

Al-Masdar Online reports that according to human rights sources in Hajjah province, 105 civilians were killed in Houthi attacks on the Hajur tribes in Hajjah over the past month.

Tuesday, February 26

For the first time in six months, UN aid officials have been able to reach the Red Sea Mills, which holds a vital grain supply. Although this is a major breakthrough, the UN needs sustained access, which will come from progress in the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement.

In response to the decision on Monday that deemed H.J.Res.37 “de-privileged,” Senator Bernie Sanders is moving ahead with a plan to discharge S.J.Res.7, the same resolution that passed in the Senate in December. The bill has already been deemed privileged, and is identical to the pre-amendment version of H.J.Res.37. If the resolution can pass in the Senate a second time, House Democrats may still have trouble preventing another round of amendments.

It is believed that thousands of civilians are besieged and more than 100 inhabitants have died as a result of the ongoing fighting between the Houthis and local fighters led by tribal leaders in the Hajur area of Hajjah province. The Houthis have had control of Hajjah since they seized San’a in 2014. Residents in Hajur do not have access to medical treatment, food, or other essentials. The coalition has not intervened directly, but air dropped medicine, food, and weapons for the first time last Tuesday. However, residents say the supplies were only for fighters and that it was not enough to help them win.

The United Nations pledging conference for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen raised $2.6 billion of its $4 billion goal. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, primary actors in the conflict, pledged $500 million each. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated, however, that the humanitarian response will not be enough the end the crisis and that peace negotiations between the warring sides are needed.

Although phase one of the UN-brokered deal to withdraw from Hudaydah was agreed upon, implementation of the deal seems to have stalled. Mistrust remains an obstacle for the successful implementation of the deal.

After the Trump administration failed to meet the deadline invoked by the Magnitsky act, which required a verdict on whether or not the White House believed the Saudi regime has committed human rights violations, a group of US senators introduced legislation that would require the Director of National Intelligence to submit a public report on the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.

A number of Houthi fighters, including an explosives expert, were killed by the popular resistance movement in al-Bayda province. The popular resistance is a term used to refer to local/tribal forces that have allied with the Hadi government in opposition to the Houthis.

Wednesday, February 27

Journalists have gathered evidence that German weapons are being used by the Saudi-led coalition despite Germany’s ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia. During a press conference, the spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to comment on the new reports and only repeated Germany’s current policy on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The UN Security Council authorized a one-year extension of the sanctions imposed on entities threatening peace, security, and stability in Yemen by Resolution 2140, which has been in place since February of 2014. The latest resolution also renews the provisions of an arms embargo imposed against the Houthis in 2015.

A feature by Al Jazeera highlighted Yemen’s water scarcity,  as around 20 million Yemenis do not have access to water because of the war and preexisting challenges. Yemenis contend with depleted wells, contaminated water, and inability to access aid. Therefore millions of Yemenis are left spending many hours of the day searching for clean drinking water.

Thursday, February 28

After more than two years, the government has paid the salaries of more than 30,000 state employees in Hudaydah.

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt will travel to Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE to hold talks on the conflict in Yemen. Hunt plans to meet with both Houthi and coalition officials.

The Houthis blew up thirteen houses in Hajjah province and executed a man in the city of Ta’iz yesterday, according to Aden al-Ghad.

Friday, March 1

Representatives Lieu (D-CA) and Malinowski (D-NJ) have sent a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, co-signed by 11 other members of Congress, demanding an investigation into reports that Saudi Arabia has recruited and deployed Sudanese children to fight in Yemen. US law prohibits the provision of military assistance to states that recruit minors to fight. The White House generally issues waivers for some countries known to violate international laws on child soldiers, including Yemen, but it has not granted a waiver to Saudi Arabia since the war in Yemen began.

February 8-14: House passes War Powers bill, Houthis clash with tribes in north and south

Friday, February 8

Morocco recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia and has withdrawn from the Saudi-led coalition. Saudi Arabia broadcasted a documentary calling Western Sahara “occupied” by Morocco after Morocco’s minister of foreign affairs told Al Jazeera that Morocco’s participation in the Yemen war had changed due to humanitarian reasons. Ties between the two nations have deteriorated since the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the worsening of the conflict in Yemen.

Saudi state TV reports that the Saudi-led coalition has launched a “targeting operation”--an apparent euphemism for airstrikes--in San’a. The target location was allegedly an area for storing and preparing drones and launch vehicles.

The World Health Organization says 35,000 Yemenis have cancer and 11,000 are diagnosed every year. However, cancer clinics have been been closing, and attaining access to healthcare is becoming increasingly difficult.

Saturday, February 9

The Trump administration did not meet the Friday deadline to report to the Senate on whether or not the White House believed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Sunday, February 10

The Hadi government hopes to escalate its crude oil production to 110,000 barrels per day in 2019, with exports reaching about 75,000 bpd, its oil minister reported. In 2018, Yemen produced an average of 50,000 bpd. The oil minister also reported that Yemen wanted to resume production of liquid natural gas.

Monday, February 11

The UN reports that the grain stored in the Red Sea Mills silos in Hudaydah is at risk of rotting. Aid workers have not had access to the Red Sea Mills facility for five months due to coalition military operations and Houthi landmines, and the urgency of accessing the grain grows every day.

Fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels in Yemen’s southern province of al-Dhali’ has continued for a third day. The fighting was prompted after the Houthis destroyed the house of the tribal sheikh Abdul Jaleel Al Hothaiyfi for allegedly working with the Saudi-led coalition.

Fighting has also escalated in the northern province of Hajjah between the Houthis and the Hajoor tribe, worsening the humanitarian situation there. According to local observers, additional forces from a neighboring tribe have entered that conflict on the side of Hajoor.

The Trump Administration threatened to veto the re-introduction of the war powers resolution, H.J.Res.37, which would end US military support for the Saudi-led coalition, should it pass in both houses of Congress.

Tuesday, February 12

Al-Masdar Online reports that the UAE-backed Abu al-Abbas Brigade, kidnapped a human rights activist, Abu Baker al-Breiky, in Ta’iz governorate and handed him over to UAE forces in Aden. The UAE and its proxies have kidnapped, detained, and tortured hundreds of civilians in southern Yemen since 2015.

Wednesday, February 13

The House of Representatives voted to end American military assistance for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. The House resolution, H.J.Res.37, invokes the 1973 War Powers Act, which gives Congress the ability to restrict military deployments undertaken without a formal declaration of war. The Senate is expected to vote within the next month.  H.J.Res.37 included an amendment introduced by Representative Buck (R-CO) that ensures that the US may continue intelligence collection, analysis, and sharing operations with other nations.

The Trump Administration will not certify to Congress that the Saudi-led coalition is attempting to reduce civilian casualties. Previously the State Department validated that the coalition had made a “good faith effort” to reduce civilian casualties, which allowed the United States to continue refueling operations. The certification, which was clearly at odds with evidence collected by observers on the ground, was a requirement imposed by lawmakers via the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt says that saving Yemen’s ceasefire has “a shortening window of opportunity.” The US, UK, UAE, and Saudi Arabia will discuss Yemen on the sidelines of a summit in Warsaw, possibly focusing on an initiative to inject money into Yemen’s central bank.

In Riyadh, the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) concluded in its most recent round of investigations that coalition military operations in Yemen followed procedures that were proper and safe, and acted in accordance with international humanitarian law. JIAT, the coalition’s internal investigation mechanism, has been criticized since the start of the war by experts and human rights groups for whitewashing illegal actions by coalition forces.

Thursday, February 14

Robert Malley, a key advisor on the Middle East under the Obama Administration and now president and CEO of the International Crisis Group, told TRT World that the Obama Administration gave too much support to partner Saudi Arabia and that military support should have been scaled back much sooner. In response to H.J.Res.37, Malley stated that the US needs to find ways to minimize civilian casualties when drawn into conflict.

Fatima Qoba is a displaced 12 year old girl who was carried into a Yemeni malnutrition clinic at 10kg (22 lbs). Fatima’s situation is the latest example of the crisis occurring in Yemen with around 10 million people on the brink of famine. A doctor at the clinic told reporters about the problem of severely malnourished pregnant women who are expected to give birth to underweight children.

Houthi media reports that coalition airstrikes targeted a group of fishermen today in Hudaydah governorate. MSF confirmed that a local hospital treated several fishermen for injuries sustained in the attack.

February 1-7: Coalition illegally diverts US arms to non-state forces, agreement on Hudaydah withdrawal may be near

Friday, February 1

The Daily Beast interviewed two ex-detainees who were held in the UAE’s prisons in southern Yemen. The report indicates that there was American involvement in the torture that occurred in the prisons. The Pentagon acknowledge that US military personnel operate in the prisons, but deny any knowledge of torture or abuse.

European representative for Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council, Ahmed bin Fareed, believes the inclusion of the South is crucial to peace talks. Citing the central role of Southern forces in the fight against the Houthis, Fareed writes that “without genuine inclusion and participation of all key legitimate actors, it is inconceivable that our constituency would accept the terms of a settlement that excludes them.”

Yemenis on social media are calling for justice after the Houthis sentenced Asmaa al-Omeissy and two others to death, in addition to being detained and tortured, because of their alleged association with the coalition. Amnesty International states that the Houthis are using the judiciary to settle political scores.

Sunday, February 3

Al-Masdar Online reports that a civilian was killed by Houthi shelling today in southern Hudaydah governorate. Additionally, two women and two children were killed by Houthi shelling of an IDP camp today in Hajjah governorate; the report states that this is the second attack by the group on this camp.

Monday, February 4

An outbreak of the swine flu was recently detected, with 419 reported cases and 86 deaths so far. Health centers are running out of medicine and many people are unable to access health centers because of the war.

Reporter Fuad Rajeh reports that the Houthis will try Yemen country manager of Saferworld, Awfa Al-Naami, on charges of “harming national security.” Al-Naami was detained on Monday, January 28.

Graham Jones, Labour MP and the most senior parliamentarian overseeing Britain’s arms control regime, stated that NGO’s claims about civilian deaths in Yemen from airstrikes were exaggerated. He also claimed that the primary blame for the war was with Iran and that NGOs misunderstand the region’s problems.

Faculty at Hadhramawt University are protesting because the university has not upheld its  financial obligations. The faculty have previously gone on strike but their demands have thus far been ignored.

Clashes broke out in the Old City of Aden today between pro-government forces and an unspecified group of gunmen, according to Aden al-Ghad.

Tuesday, February 5

Amnesty International accused the United Arab Emirates of supplying unaccountable militias with weapons purchased from western states, including the United States. Some of these militias have ties to AQAP or other extremist groups. The transfer of US arms to third parties violates the end-use agreements mandated by all US arms sales. The YPP raised the issue of illegal arms diversion with State and Defense Department officials in April 2018, but officials denied any knowledge of such practices.

An investigation by CNN found that the Saudi-led coalition has transferred US-manufactured weapons to unaccountable third parties. In doing so, US-manufactured weapons have come into the possession of extremist groups and Iranian-backed rebels. A US defense official confirmed there was an ongoing investigation following CNN’s reports.

Houthi-run news channel al-Masirah says that the Houthi delegation in Amman have proposed a prisoner release of 400 individuals from both parties to the conflict, and are waiting on a response from Riyadh. This proposal comes despite the agreement by both parties to release all prisoners as part of the recent Stockholm Agreements.

In San’a, Mothers of Abductees protested outside the Houthi detention center where a number of civilians are being held. The association claims that the Houthis are denying medical access to the prisoners. They are appealing to the UN and the UN special envoy to secure their release.  

Wednesday, February 6

The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to send the war powers resolution, H.J.Res.37, to the full chamber of a vote. The resolution would require President Trump to withdraw US forces from the war in Yemen. A companion bill passed the Senate last December, and has been reintroduced in the upper chamber as well. The House Rules Committee will consider the bill shortly; a vote on the House floor is expected within the month.

Government forces reopened  the Dhubab Road, the primary entrance to the city of Ta’iz, after it had been blocked by a rival local militia. Most other entrances into the city are still blocked by Houthi forces, which have maintained a siege on the city since 2015. The Dhubab entrance is crucial to the survival of the city’s inhabitants; it is often closed by militias as part of the ongoing power struggles between anti-Houthi groups.

Oxfam reports that Yemen’s food shortage has left  1.1 million childbearing women malnourished and that there is evidence that child marriage is rising so families can buy food.

According to al-Masdar Online, the real estate sector in Yemen is experiencing an unusual boom, in contrast with other sectors of the Yemeni economy. According to the article, this may be due to a large number of Yemeni expatriates returning from Saudi Arabia, as well as money laundering operations and internal displacement of Yemenis from Houthi-controlled areas to those controlled by the government.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), launched projects to create and support jobs in the Tarim area of Wadi Hadhramawt. KSRelief has been criticized by NGOs in the past for placing restrictions and conditions on aid funding, in violation of UN requirements.

Thursday, February 7

Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Young (R-IN) announced a new resolution, the “Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2019.” The bill would prohibit arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, prohibit refueling of coalition aircraft, require the US government to present a strategy for ending the war in Yemen, and place sanctions on individuals responsible for blocking humanitarian aid, among other measures.

Following three days of talks, Yemen’s warring parties have reached a preliminary compromise regarding the ceasefire in Hudaydah. The compromise will undergo further consultation, and talks are expected to continue next week in order to finalize details. The UN did not give further information on the agreement.

Negotiations over the UN-sponsored prisoner exchange between the warring parties in Yemen could drag on for months. Both parties have failed to recognize or confirm all of the prisoners named on their opponents’ lists.

Southern news outlet Aden al-Ghad reports that the Houthis are using their all-female auxiliary force, the Zaynabiyat, to abduct women in San’a, a practice which has increased over the past few days.

Al-Masdar Online reports that according to local sources, Houthi gunmen attacked a village in central al-Baydha province, abducting a number of people.


January 25 - February 1: US lawmakers introduce new Yemen bills, Houthi mines keep WFP from accessing grain stockpile in Hudaydah

Friday, January 25

The Center for American Progress announced that it would no longer accept funding from the United Arab Emirates. Funding from the UAE ranged between $500,000 and $1m. This decision came about due to increasing public scrutiny of authoritarian governments’ financial support for think tanks in Washington.

Saturday, January 26

Though most European leaders have been reluctant to join the US-organized summit on confronting Iranian aggression, UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has agreed to attend on the condition that the US, UAE, and Saudi Arabia also participate in talks about Yemen during the summit.

Wheat silos in Hudaydah have been damaged in a fire caused by suspected mortar shelling. The World Food Programme needs access to the mills to assess the damage, however, the WFP has not had access since September. The Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition both deny responsibility.

Pro-coalition sources report that Houthi forces shelled an IDP camp in Hajjah, killing seven displaced civilians.

Monday, January 28

The Guardian reported that UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths said that the deadline for the withdrawal  of Houthi troops from Hudaydah had been extended. Griffiths expressed that the timeline for the UN-brokered deal, which included a ceasefire in Hudaydah, the withdrawal of all forces from the governorate’s three ports, and a prisoner exchange, was ambitious. Additionally, the agreed prisoner exchanges have not yet been implemented.

On Monday evening, Gulf News reported that a Houthi bomb attack in al-Mokha killed six civilians and injured 20.

Wednesday, January 30

Reuters reported that the Houthis released a Saudi prisoner, who was repatriated by the ICRC. In response, Saudi Arabia released seven Houthi prisoners.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington announced in a press conference the reintroduction of resolutions invoking the War Powers Act, which would end American military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. If passed, the legislation will likely prompt a veto from President Donald Trump.

US Representatives Lieu, Yoho, and Malinowski introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to prohibit US refueling support for coalition air missions in Yemen.

A bipartisan group of US senators, some of whom have voted against previous efforts to limit US support for the Saudi-led coalition, introduced the “Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2019” as an amendment (S.A.69) to Senate Resolution 1, a bill on security assistance to Israel and Jordan. The amendment includes a prohibition on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, a prohibition on refueling for coalition air missions, and new sanctions on any party obstructing humanitarian assistance. The amendment also calls on government agencies to review US security assistance to Saudi Arabia and investigate war crimes in Yemen, and imposes sanctions on those responsible for the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

Thursday, January 31

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported that the Saudi-led coalition attacked a storage site for drones east of San’a.

Martin Griffiths concluded his visits to Riyadh, San’a, and Hudaydah, during which he discussed the importance of implementing the Stockholm Agreements with Saudi, Yemeni, and Houthi leaders.

ACLED recorded at least 267 fatalities since 2016 as a result of Houthi-planted mines and IEDs that are largely unmapped. Casualties from mines have gradually increased, and December 2018 and January 2019 were recorded as the deadliest months since ACLED began recording violent events in Yemen. This increase can be attributed to the offensive launched by Emirati-backed forces in Hudaydah. The use of explosive devices is also adversely affecting economic activity by destroying grazing lands and threatening commercial shipping and fishing.

A recent report by the NGO coalition Control Arms UK called for greater oversight and accountability for UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other states involved in conflict. The British government, between 2015 and 2017, authorized 18,107 open license deliveries of arms and dual-purpose equipment to Saudi Arabia; current regulations do not require the UK government to disclose details of what each delivery includes or what its intended use is.

January 12-18: UN Official Fired upon in Hudaydah, Conflict Parties meet in Jordan

Saturday, January 12

According to government sources, 37 civilians were killed and 312 injured by Houthi violations of the Hudaydah ceasefire agreement since it was put in place on December 18. The government is calling on Martin Griffiths to pressure the Houthis into complying with the ceasefire.

Reporter Baseem al-Jenani, meanwhile, tweeted that medical sources say 27 civilians were killed or injured in the city of Hudaydah by Houthi vehicles.

Sunday, January 13

The Guardian reports that the Houthis have threatened to continue drone strikes after the attack on a military base in Lahij province last week.

January 5-11: UN officials report on ceasefire implementation, Houthis launch drone attack on government base

Saturday, January 5

Independent journalist Baseem al-Jenani reported that four factory workers were injured in al-Hudaydah when their factory was shelled. He also described Houthi practices in Hudaydah of repressing local community organizations and NGOs and looting their assets.

Sunday, January 6

President Trump has confirmed that Jamal al-Badawi, one of the al-Qaeda operatives responsible for the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, was killed in an airstrike in Marib Governorate on January 1.

Monday, January 7

The UN Secretary General's report was released on the implementation of the Stockholm Agreements as of today. The report notes that the Houthis have delayed the opening of key roads, and mutual ceasefire violations have been reported but not verified by the UN. Meanwhile, the Houthis have also failed to issue visas and clearances for UN personnel and equipment intended for Hudaydah. Meetings continue to be held with both sides.

Nov. 30 - December 7: UN-sponsored talks begin in Sweden, hunger survey shows worsening conditions

11/30

The International Crisis Group published a report which called on US officials to take advantage of the leverage generated by the advancement of Senate Joint Resolution 54 to pressure the Saudi-led coalition to pause the fighting in al-Hudaydah and give peace talks a chance to succeed.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour concluded a visit to Yemen, demanding that “the warring parties to do “‘absolutely everything humanly possible’ to prevent renewed fighting in the port city of Al Hudaydah.”

12/2

The World Health Organization reported that the cholera outbreak in Yemen “is accelerating again with roughly 10,000 suspected cases now reported per week, double the average rate for the first eight months of 2018.”

November 16-29: NGOs demand urgent US action, Griffiths preps warring parties for talks

11/16

A recent report highlights the likelihood that an additional 5 million people in Yemen will starve if the fighting in al-Hudaydah continues and consequently drives up food prices.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly “threw a fit” over the draft UN Security Council resolution calling for a limited ceasefire and increase in humanitarian aid to Yemen when it was proposed to him by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

11/19

World Food Programme Chief David Beasley called the Houthis the greatest impediment to delivery of aid on the ground in Yemen, due to fighters taking up fighting positions in food warehouses in al-Hudaydah.  

November 10-15: Coalition temporarily halts al-Hudaydah offensive, Congressional Republicans prevent debate on Yemen

11/10

UN Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths pushed back the timeline for peace talks in Yemen, estimating that “they will try to bring them together by the end of the year.” This setback is concurrent with the renewed offensive on al-Hudaydah by the Saudi-led coalition.

October 31st - November 9th: Escalation of fighting despite US calls for ceasefire; Fighting in Hudaydah threatens hospitals

10/31

Defense Secretary Mattis requested that “all parties” of the conflict in Yemen “take part in UN-led peace talks within the next thirty days.” Secretary of State Pompeo also came forward, urging “the Saudi-led coalition battling the rebel Houthi movement to end its air strikes on populated areas” in exchange for an end to Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.

October 22-30: coalition sends reinforcements to Hudaydah, Pompeo calls for ceasefire

10/22

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany will discontinue its weapon exports to Saudi Arabia in light of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

UNICEF warns that fighting around the key port of al-Hudaydah, in addition to Yemen’s economic crisis, continues to exacerbate the humanitarian situation, putting millions of families in a desperate situation without access to clean water, food, or sanitation.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that over 3,000 families were affected by Cyclone Luban. About 2,203 families were displaced from their homes in the districts of al-Masilah, Sayhut, Huswain, Qishn, and al-Ghaydah City in al-Mahrah.

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths is scheduled for a visit next Sunday to Ta’iz. Also in the works are plans for UN-sponsored meetings with the Yemeni government, Houthi representatives, and other regional and international actors in Nairobi in the near future.

The Hadi government’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation collaborated with UN Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in a workshop to address Yemen’s 2019 humanitarian response plan in Aden.

October 13-18: 14 million people at risk of starvation; US mercenaries responsible for Aden assassinations

10/13

A coalition air raid targeted a checkpoint near Jabal Ras in Hudaydah, killing at least six people and injuring others.

10/14

Houthi militia arrested students at San’a University following the October 6th “Revolution of the Hungry” demonstration. Students had their phones confiscated and searched by militia members and a number of students were arrested.

Senator Sanders joined other senators in demanding that the US “withdraw its support from Saudi Arabia in Yemen’s civil war” in response to “allegations that the Saudi government murdered a dissident journalist.”

October 6-11: UN children's rights body condemns airstrikes; Congress threatens to block arms sales to KSA

10/6

Baseem al-Jenani reported that Houthi forces attempted to force residents of the al-Ja’bali neighborhood of al-Rabsah in Hudaydah to leave their homes in order to convert their houses into military barracks.

September 24-October 4: US Congress takes up war powers bill, MSF withdraws from al-Dhali'

9/24

Save the Children reported, using data from ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Event Data), that at least 685 civilians have been killed in Yemen between June and the end of August, with 51% of these casualties (about 349 civilians) attributed to the Hudaydah campaign alone.

9/25

President Trump announced his intention to appoint Christopher Paul Henzel to replace Matthew Tueller as US Ambassador to Yemen. The American embassy has been based in Saudi Arabia since the Houthi-Saleh coup in early 2015.

Human Rights Watch released a report detailing cases of hostage-taking orchestrated by the Houthis, which includes inhumane detention, torture, and murder.

September 15-21: Griffiths meets Houthis in San’a, humanitarian outlook worsens

9/15

The World Food Program reported that their Red Sea Mill Silos, which “mill a quarter of the WFP’s monthly wheat requirements,” came under attack. Additionally, a mortar shell was launched by an unidentified armed group at another WFP warehouse location. This warehouse was reported to be holding enough food for 19,200 people. Since these incidents, the WFP has been unable to deliver aid to civilians.  

August 14-27: Civilians killed in Durayhimi, government-UAE tensions ratchet up again

8/14

Yemeni journalists on social media reported intense fighting between Houthi and coalition forces in the streets of al-Durayhimi, just south of Hudaydah City. Journalist Baseem al-Jenani reported multiple civilian casualties and heavy damage to residential neighborhoods.

8/15

The AP reported that fighting in al-Durayhimi killed at least 13 civilians in 24 hours. Sources also say Houthi shelling killed five civilians in Hajjah, where the Houthis face resistance from some local tribes as well as the coalition.

The AP quoted US officials who confirm that the UAE has paid money to Yemeni tribes to facilitate the withdrawal of AQAP from certain areas. This follows an earlier AP report that detailed the UAE’s practice of accommodating AQAP, and incorporating AQAP members into pro-government forces.

UAE military leaders told The Independent that the Emirati military intends to remain in Yemen for as long as it takes to “crush” AQAP, even after the Houthis are defeated. Many Yemenis believe that the UAE has colonial ambitions in southern Yemen, and its methods in the fight against AQAP have been criticized.

August 8-13: Airstrike on school bus draws international attention; new report details prison abuses

8/8

International aid groups protested the "symbol of aggression and oppression" the San'a airport has become. There have been 56 coalition airstrikes on the airport in the past two years, an average of one every two weeks.

Yemen’s ambassador to the US, Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, argued Wednesday that the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would “contribute to the end of the war in Yemen.”

August 1-6: Attacks in Hudaydah continue; coalition ties with al-Qaeda revealed

8/1

After facing criticism and threats for attacking vessels in the Red Sea, the Houthis announced a halt on naval military activity. The ceasefire will take place from August 1 to 15, according to Houthi leader Mohammed al-Houthi, who said this period could be extended with the cooperation of the coalition.

July 24-31: US defense budget conditions support for coalition; Griffiths continues shuttle diplomacy

7/24

Middle East Eye reports that the Yemeni government is offering high salaries, paid in Saudi riyals, to people displaced from Hudaydah who are willing to fight on the front lines. Fighting is often the only feasible way for displaced people living in government camps to earn an income.

An apparent roadside bomb killed four people and injured five, including a senior security official, in Aden.

US House and Senate leadership have released the final version of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The annual defense budget bill will include two provisions relating to Yemen, one of which requires the administration to investigate US involvement in the torture of detainees by UAE forces; the other provision will place conditions on US refueling for coalition air operations. The YPP and our partner organizations have been working for several months to ensure that these amendments make it into the final law.

An apparent US airstrike killed 4 suspected AQAP operatives in Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition forced a plane belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross to land in Saudi Arabia after the plane made a sudden change of course. The flight was later allowed to continue to its final destination.