Monday, April 25The port city of Mukalla, which has been controlled by al-Qaeda for over a year, was recaptured on Monday by Saudi and UAE forces and local Yemeni fighters. The coalition forces claimed to have killed 800 al-Qaeda militants in the first hour of fighting in south Yemen, but these numbers are highly disputed. The campaign, however, does mark an unprecedented push by the coalition to expel the group from their southern Yemen strongholds. Reporting on this expulsion, pro-Houthi outlet Al-Masirah accused the coalition of using the fight against terrorism as a pretext to launch an operation that in fact aims to gain control of southern Yemen.
The body of Omar Mohammed Batawil, a young man from Aden who was abducted from his home on Sunday, was found with gunshot wounds in Sheikh Osman district on Monday. Batawil had received death threats and accusations of atheism because of comments "critical of religion" that he posted on Facebook.
Tuesday, April 26 Houthi representatives and the Hadi government agreed on Tuesday on an agenda for the UN-brokered peace talks in Kuwait. Previous differences over the agenda had initially prevented the negotiations from taking place.
Wednesday, April 27 UK Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood has said that the Saudi inquiry into their own bombing campaign has been “frustratingly slow,” and that the Saudi government needs to admit to any mistakes made. “Ministers also said that they would not revoke any of the UK’s multi-billion arms exports licences to Saudi Arabia until the Saudi government has completed the report into repeated specific allegations that it has been bombing civilians indiscriminately.”
Thursday, April 28 A suicide car bomb targeted the home of Aden security chief Shelal Ali Shayyeh on Thursday. The police chief was not harmed in the attack, but two people were reportedly wounded after guards fired at the car, which then exploded.
Both the Hadi government and the Houthis began discussing key issues on Thursday following the approval by both parties of the agenda for the peace talks. "Besides discussing ways to firm up an ongoing cease-fire, delegates also tackled 'the issues related to the withdrawal of armed groups, handover of heavy weapons, resumption of the political transition and the release of prisoners and detainees,' UN envoy Ould Cheikh Ahmed said in a statement."
Friday, April 29 Following Thursday’s attempted assassination of police chief Shelal Ali Shayyeh, an unidentified gunman fatally shot Colonel Marwan Abdulhalim on Friday in central Aden.
Saturday, April 30 Direct talks began on Saturday between the Houthi and Hadi government delegations. This is the first time the opposing parties have met face-to-face, as most of the negotiations up until this point were conducted by UN envoy Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdul-Salam said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia has handed over 40 prisoners as part of an agreement to quell border fighting. Twenty of those released had been captured in Yemen.
Thousands of residents reportedly marched in Ta’iz to call for enforcement of the ceasefire and an end to the country’s fighting. Hundreds were also said to have marched in Zinjibar to demand the withdrawal of al-Qaeda.
Sunday, May 1 During the direct negotiations, the Houthi and Hadi government delegations each presented their views on ending the conflict. The Houthis reportedly called for a political solution to be reached before UN resolution 2216 could be implemented, which requires the Houthis to hand over weapons and withdraw from seized territory. The Hadi government is said to see this move as another attempt by the Houthis to evade a resolution that would require them to give up their arms.
The Houthis reportedly seized Umaliqa base in Amran governorate north of San'a at dawn on Sunday. The Houthi forces stormed the base and seized its weapons. A number of the base's soldiers were killed during the assault. Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi, Hadi’s foreign minister and top delegate to the negotiations, said the move has "torpedoed" the talks. The Hadi government suspended direct talks shortly thereafter, but said that representatives would remain in Kuwait to conduct indirect talks with the Houthis.
Aden’s security chief Shelal Ali Shayyeh was the target of a second assassination attempt in less than a week after a car bomb in front of a government building in the city’s central square exploded on Sunday, killing four soldiers and wounding eight others. Shayyeh was not harmed in either attack.