June 23-29: No progress toward peace; Aden refinery destroyed

The Saudi-led aerial offensive and the civil conflict on the ground continue into a fourth month now. Over 2800 Yemenis have been killed and thousands of others injured, while over one million have been internally displaced.  Saudi Arabia’s stated goals haven’t yet been achieved: the pro-Houthi/Saleh forces keep on advancing, while President Hadi and his government are still in exile. The humanitarian situation has become more dire than ever: 8.6 million Yemenis need urgent medical help; 21.1 million need some form of humanitarian assistance, while half of Yemen’s population is food insecure.

Moreover, the health system has been virtually paralyzed, and Dengue fever on—top of Malaria—has rapidly spread, particularly in the coastal areas. In addition to a score of dengue fever cases registered in the port city of Mukalla in Hadramout province, 85 cases have been registered in the historical town of Hajarayn alone over the past week.

Last Monday, after the collapse of the Geneva talks, the Houthi-Saleh delegation headed to Oman, where they reportedly held talks with Southern Movement leaders. Flying back to Sanʻa Friday, the airplane carrying the delegates was prevented from landing in the Sana’a International Airport. After finally landing on Saturday, a delegate stated that the Houthis are mulling over the prospect of forming a partnership government, and that they have no plans to attend additional peace talks.

The Saudi-led airstrikes have been hitting several cities since the beginning of Ramadan, mainly where ground fighting is taking place, in Marib, al-Jawf, Aden, Taʻiz, Lahj, al-Baydha, and Shabwah. Other cities, including Hajjah, al-Hudaydah, and Raima were also hit by airstrikes over the past weeks.

Two historical sites in both Raima and Hajjah were struck, bringing to 25 the number of such sites that have been targeted by Saudi warplanes. In the southern city of Aden, Houthi fighters shelled the only oil refinery, destroying much of the city’s fuel reserves and releasing a massive cloud of oil smoke over residential areas.

Continuing their cross-border missile attacks, the pro-Houthi/Saleh fighters have targeted military sites near Jaizan city. Three Saudi soldiers along with an Emirati were reportedly killed.