Monday, July 4Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired across the border from Yemen early Monday, the Saudi-led coalition reported. The missile, which was launched by Houthi forces towards the southern Saudi city of Abha, was intercepted with no injuries after the missile launcher was destroyed by the kingdom’s air defenses.
Gulf News reports that it was at least the fourth ballistic missile launched across the border since the ceasefire and UN-brokered peace talks began in Kuwait in April between the Houthis and Hadi’s government. The Saudi-led coalition has similarly violated the ceasefire with continued airstrikes.
Yemen’s Central Bank refused to pay government employees on Sunday due to its severe shortage of funds. The bank is reportedly facing a daily deficit of 94 billion rials, "resulting from a lack of tax revenue and a 200% reduction in the country's revenues."
A governmental report submitted by Yemeni Finance Minister Munser al-Quaiti to ambassadors of donor countries within the context of the Kuwait peace talks two weeks ago said the Houthi militias seized $1.6 billion of foreign exchange reserves during the past 16 months under the pretext of “war efforts.”
Tuesday, July 5 Rockets launched by Houthi forces killed seven children and wounded twenty-five other civilians in Marib. One rocket reportedly struck a courtyard where the children were playing while two other rockets hit a home and a storefront. The number of casualties was provided by the director of Marib’s main hospital, which received the victims.
Wednesday, July 6 An attack by al-Qaeda at Aden’s Solaban military base in Khormaksar killed at least fourteen soldiers and wounded dozens more. Six attackers were also killed.
The militants detonated a suicide car bomb at the gate, allowing more fighters onto the base. They exchanged gunfire with troops for hours, only withdrawing after Apache helicopters carried out a series of strikes on the base.
AQAP called the attack revenge for government assaults elsewhere in southern Yemen.
The Washington Post reports on an increase in the marriage of underage girls in Yemen as a result of the conflict. Organizations that have worked in Yemen to end this practice say that before the war, instances of underage marriage were decreasing. As more families are now being displaced and facing extreme poverty, many of them marry off one of their daughters, sometimes as young as eight, in order to support the rest of the family.
Friday, July 8 US Central Command reports that four al-Qaeda operatives have been killed in two strikes in Shabwa province on July 1 and July 4. The report states that “The U.S. will not relent in its mission to degrade, disrupt and destroy al-Qaida and its remnants,” claiming that, “Strikes conducted by the U.S. in Yemen continue to diminish AQAP’s presence in the region.”
The release comes a week after the Obama administration reported the number of civilians killed in American strikes in non-combat zones in the past seven years. The tally was reported at 116, but independent organizations estimate that the civilian death toll is much higher.
Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Saudi-led coalition’s Operation Decisive Storm was “launched for the sake of Yemen and the Arab and Islamic World,” and denied any intention to back off “until legitimacy is achieved in Yemen.”
He added that UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed “betrayed the Yemeni government’s trust when he submitted the roadmap project without discussing it with the government delegation.”
Al-Mekhlafi said that Ould Sheikh Ahmed will meet with President Hadi and government members following Eid al-Fitr to discuss the roadmap.
Saturday, July 9 Since the war began in March 2015, most of Yemen’s 1,200 foreign doctors have been forced to flee. The lack of practitioners has left critically-injured patients, especially those in need of specialized medical attention, with nowhere to turn.
Doctors working in Yemen, even those affiliated with Doctors Without Borders and other international organizations, face the ongoing danger of airstrikes. Many hospitals have been bombed, and doctors have been killed while attempting to provide medical assistance to those wounded in airstrikes.
In another part to The Washington Post’s recent series on Yemen’s conflict, Sudarsan Raghavan reports on the use of American-made cluster bombs by the Saudi coalition. The use of these bombs not only has tragic consequences for innocent civilians, including children, but has further damaged the reputation of the United States in the eyes of many Yemenis, who struggle to understand why a country with “principles of democracy and human rights” is participating in the indiscriminate bombing of their country.
Sunday, July 10 President Hadi arrived in Marib for his first visit since Houthi forces were expelled from the area a year ago. Hadi, along with Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and other officials, is said to be monitoring the military and security situation there. In today's speech, Hadi said that he will not allow the United Nations to implement decisions that would form a coalition government, adding that he will not return to Kuwait if the UN issued such a decision. Hadi also said he would not allow the Houthis “to establish a Persian nation in Yemen,” referring to the rebels' limited ties with Iran.
These threatening comments by Hadi could undermine the peace talks, which by all accounts have been making slow but steady progress to end Yemen’s 15-month-long war.
During Hadi’s visit, a suspected US drone strike wounded four alleged members of al-Qaeda in Marib province. Neither Hadi’s government nor the US have commented on the strike.
The US has released from Guantanamo Bay Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleiman, a Yemeni held at the prison for 14 and a half years without charge. Although Mr. Suleiman was cleared for transfer six years ago after being falsely accused of connections with al-Qaeda, he is only now being resettled in Italy.
“Like many low-level Yemenis on the list, [Suleiman] remained stranded because the administration deemed his home country too chaotic to accept repatriated detainees.”