September 1–7: Airstrikes intensify after Marib missile attack

The UN-backed talks in the Omani capital, Muscat, have failed to bring Yemen’s warring parties any closer to an agreement; pro-Houthi/Saleh units have launched another short-range ballistic missile, killing dozens of Saudi, Emirati, and Bahraini troops in Marib, while other units continued to attack Saudi military installations across the border; the coalition has again intensified its airstrikes on Sanʻa and other cities in what has been seen as retaliation for the ballistic missile attack; two brigades of soldiers from Saudi-led coalition have been deployed in Aden; Qatari troops have reportedly joined the battle; fighting in the central governorates of Taʻiz, Ibb, and al-Baydha has been raging on since early last week. Last week, Yemeni political representatives, involved in weeks-long negotiations in Muscat, heatedly debated the seven-point proposal on the table. The Houthis and their allies put forth an initiative, seen as a concession and an alternative to the seven-point proposal, which requires them to implement UNSC resolution 2216 immediately. The initiative includes a number of points, the most important of which is the return of the exiled government to Sanʻa for 90 days. As a result, the negotiations have hit a stumbling block once again. On Monday, September 7, the Houthi and GPC delegates returned to Sanʻa, while reports indicate that disputes among members of the exiled government have started to appear on the surface.

On Friday, another short-range ballistic missile was fired by pro-Houthi/Saleh units toward a camp, some 25 km from Marib city, where coalition forces were deployed as a prelude to an assault on Sanʻa via Marib. The missile attack killed 45 Emirati soldiers, 10 Saudis, and five Bahrainis, in addition to tribal fighters allied with the coalition. The attack came two days after the Chief of Staff and the Interior Minister of the exiled government came to Safer area of Marib. On the day of the attack, the Chief of Staff was reportedly sacked.

The Saudi-led coalition has intensified the aerial bombardment on Sanʻa and other cities, killing scores of civilians. At least 10 cities and towns have been hit over the past week. Since Friday, at least 27 were reportedly killed in Sanʻa alone.

The coalition has deployed 8,000 additional troops in the southern port city of Aden. A brigade including 5,000 Southern Resistance fighters has been reportedly dissolved, after mutiny erupted and the commander was seriously injured. One thousand Qatari troops have also been sent to Yemen, while Sudanese forces are reportedly being prepared to be sent as well.