February 7-13: AQAP infighting kills 7; Saudi Arabia warns aid workers

February 8At least seven members of Al-Qaeda were killed in Zinjibar on Monday after clashes broke out between two factions of the militant organization. The infighting escalated due to a disagreement over the appointment of a new regional commander after Jalal Baleedi was killed the previous week in a US drone strike.

In an attempt to gain support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, spokesman for the coalition Brig. Gen. Ahmad Asiri delivered a briefing over Skype on Monday to a small audience at the Center for a New American Security in D.C. Playing to Washington’s fixation on counter-terrorism, Asiri argued that the Houthis and Saleh are inseparable from Al-Qaeda, claiming that the Saudis are weakening AQAP by weakening the Houthis.

Meanwhile, following Monday’s meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, John Kerry made cautious remarks about ending the war in Yemen: "Over the course of the next week it may become possible to try to engage in some productive conversations about how to bring that conflict to a close."

Unicef released a report on Monday estimating that a third of combatants in Yemen are children. Both the Houthis and pro-Hadi forces have recruited children as young as 14 to fight on the frontlines despite pledges to end the practice. The widespread destruction of schools and infrastructure in the Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen leads to more children picking up guns and fighting, in exchange for $4-8 a day.

February 9 Vice President of Hadi’s government-in-exile Khaled Bahah said on Tuesday at the World Government Summit in Dubai that his allies are now close enough to soon recapture both San’a and Ta’iz from Houthi forces, claiming that they are now “in control of more than 80 percent of the Yemeni territories.”

February 10 Five members of the same family, including three children, were killed in San’a on Wednesday when a coalition airstrike hit their home. The dead father was identified by neighbors as Mounir Al-Hakimi, a program director at the Yemen Today television channel.

Unicef reports that ”more than a million children under five face the risk of acute malnutrition and acute respiratory tract infections.” The organization says that 192 centers for the treatment of malnutrition have stopped operating due to a lack of fuel, the displacement of staff, or because the centers and hospitals have been hit by airstrikes.

Thankfully, the WHO said on Wednesday that it was able to deliver 20 tons of medical supplies, including trauma kits and much-needed oxygen tanks, to Ta’iz on January 31 for the first time in eight weeks.

February 11 On the anniversary of the revolution, Yemenis took to Twitter to post memories of the uprising. Tawakkol Karman gave a televised address the same day, saying the 2011 revolution was inevitable and that the “February generation” will overthrow the "fascist" (Houthi) takeover. Karman added that the revolution is still ongoing.

From the Houthi side, Al-Masirah network reported that thousands of Yemenis of all ages and backgrounds gathered in front of San'a University in Change Square to mark the five-year anniversary. The slogan of the demonstrations was reportedly, "Our revolution continues against the American invasion."

Also on Thursday, Yemeni security officials said a senior military commander survived an assassination attempt in Aden. Three of his guards were killed when their convoy was ambushed and shot at.

February 12 Saudi Arabia warned aid workers on Friday to leave areas held by Houthi forces, presumably to protect them from upcoming coalition strikes. Regardless of this warning, Saudi Arabia is obligated under international humanitarian law to facilitate access to aid. UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien responded saying the humanitarian community would continue to deliver aid across Yemen impartially on the basis of need.