Selected readings, July 30

We have some exciting original posts coming in the very near future, but in the meantime, here are a few recent articles everyone should read: On Wednesday a car bomb exploded outside a mosque in San‘a frequented by members of the Bohra or Isma'ili sect. The bombing was claimed by members of the Islamic State's "wilayat San‘a," who have claimed a number of previous mosque bombings. The IS statement accused the Bohra community of supporting the Houthis.

Reuters reports that local resistance groups, with help from Saudi and Emirati military advisors (read: Special Forces) and Saudi-trained Yemeni fighters, are making gains in the northern and eastern outskirts of Aden. The resistance has reportedly driven Houthi forces out of suburban positions from which they'd been shelling Aden over the last two weeks. As always, take phrases like "Forces loyal to exiled President Hadi" with a grain of salt; very few of the groups fighting in Aden are interested in the prospect of a new Hadi administration.

The Washington Post has a more detailed piece on the anti-Houthi coalition's consolidation of control in Aden. President Hadi and his allies want to use Aden as a beachhead for a wider advance into Yemen, which would probably involve a lot more Saudi/GCC troops on the ground. President Hadi has also recently announced plans to consolidate all local resistance groups into the "national army," a plan that will face plenty of, um, resistance (see above).

Human Rights Watch has released two important reports in the last week. Yesterday they put out this one, on the use of indiscriminate shelling by Houthi forces in Aden. Houthi tactics in the southern city, which failed to distinguish civilians from combatants, constitute war crimes. A couple of days earlier, HRW reported on the Saudi bombing of a block of residential buildings attached to a power plant in the Red Sea coastal city of al-Mokha. According to HRW investigators, there were no military targets at or near this location, making its targeting "an apparent war crime." The bombing killed at least 65 civilians, including ten children.