July 7-15: Ceasefire fails, resistance gains ground in Aden

Despite the “humanitarian pause” announced last week by UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Saudi-led airstrikes and ground combat continued in several parts of Yemen last week. Pro-Houthi/Saleh units continued to carry out cross-border attacks on Saudi military bases. UN officials and international aid organizations reported that 21.1 million people urgently need humanitarian relief. On Thursday, the UN envoy to Yemen stated that parties had agreed on a weeklong humanitarian pause, which would come into effect on Friday at midnight. But Saudi Arabia and its allies continued their aerial attacks, claiming that they had not received instructions to stop from the Hadi government, directly contradicting the UN envoy’s statement.

At least 10 cities across the country have been hit over the past week by airstrikes targeting pro-Houthi/Saleh bases in densely populated areas. Over 20 people were killed in Sanʻa in the first two days of the unobserved truce.

Grain mills and water tanks in Aden were pounded by airstrikes, while Houthi/Saleh fighters continued to shell Aden’s oil refinery and the adjacent port. The outpatient clinics of the military hospital in Sanʻa and the Haradh Public Hospital in Hajjah were both knocked out. The national cement factory was struck in Amran. The Health Ministry in Sanʻa reported that “medical services have totally stopped in 11 provinces.”

Meanwhile, fighting on the ground between Houthi/Saleh forces and local resistance groups raged on in Aden, Lahj, al-Dhaliʻ, Taʻiz, Marib, and al-Jawf.

Saudi planes also continued to provide air cover for resistance fighters in those six areas, despite an allegedly botched airstrike on a military base in Hadramout, which killed over 50 soldiers believed to be loyal to Hadi. Resistance fighters in Aden regained control of several areas on Tuesday, including the international airport. This victory has served as a morale boost for the wider resistance. President Hadi’s representatives announced that the exiled president was personally overseeing the Aden counteroffensive, dubbed Operation Golden Arrow. Disputing more credible accounts, the Houthi-controlled state press agency reported on Wednesday that Houthi/Saleh forces had defeated the resistance and were in control of al-Mansurah district.

On the Yemen-Saudi borders, Houthi/Saleh units have continued to launch missile attacks on military bases outside Najran and Jaizan cities. On several occasions, these units have also made forays across the borders to these Saudi bases.