airstrikes

January 19-25: Houthi landmines claim multiple victims, warring parties at standstill in Hudaydah

Saturday, January 19

According to AP, UN experts have found that fuel shipped illegally from Iran is being used by the Houthis to finance their operations.

ReliefWeb published a November 2018 Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) analysis of the Shara’b al-Salam district of Ta’iz province today. The analysis concludes that 20% of internally displaced persons and 31% of host community households in the district had not been able to meet their water needs in the month prior to the assessment. Furthermore, 76% of IDPs and 70% of host community households in the district reported that leaving garbage in public spaces where it was left uncollected was the most common method of disposal.

Al-Masdar Online reports that two of Ta’iz city’s most wanted individuals were killed today by the Abu al-Abbas Brigades, an armed group with ties to AQAP and the UAE that controls parts of Ta’iz.

Al-Masdar Online tweeted a video in which the mother of activist Zakariya al-Qasim demands to know the fate of her son, who has been imprisoned by UAE forces for approximately one year.

October 6-11: UN children's rights body condemns airstrikes; Congress threatens to block arms sales to KSA

10/6

Baseem al-Jenani reported that Houthi forces attempted to force residents of the al-Ja’bali neighborhood of al-Rabsah in Hudaydah to leave their homes in order to convert their houses into military barracks.

US Support for Coalition Civilian Targeting, March 2018 - Today

Since the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition began its intervention in Yemen’s civil war, the United States government has provided its indiscriminate air campaign with munitions, mid-air refueling, and still-unclear forms of targeting assistance. As civilian casualties have mounted, US officials have repeatedly claimed that US assistance is making things better, not worse.

This timeline of airstrikes, counting from March 2018 and updated periodically, throws these statements in stark relief. The timeline tracks major coalition airstrikes against civilians, alongside administration testimony to Congress and the press that the United States is making things better. Even if the coalition were marginally improving, as claimed, in the face of significant and ongoing coalition war crimes, the United States has one workable option: withdraw support to the air campaign and exercise existing military and diplomatic leverage over the coalition to arrest the worst of the violence, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and move its support for the political solution beyond mere rhetoric.

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates Compliance with NDAA Section 1290 - September 2018

NDAA Section 1290 conditions further United States refueling assistance to the Saudi-led coalition’s air raids in Yemen on whether the Secretary of State can certify to Congress that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are undertaking specific steps to support a peace process and reduce civilian harm in Yemen. Drawing from the language of Section 1290, we briefly analyze the extent to which Saudi Arabia and the UAE have undertaken these measures and provide a recommendation for further congressional action.

August 8-13: Airstrike on school bus draws international attention; new report details prison abuses

8/8

International aid groups protested the "symbol of aggression and oppression" the San'a airport has become. There have been 56 coalition airstrikes on the airport in the past two years, an average of one every two weeks.

Yemen’s ambassador to the US, Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, argued Wednesday that the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would “contribute to the end of the war in Yemen.”

June 19-24: Fighting continues amid further peace talks

6/19

UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths has left San’a without a peace deal. This was his second visit to the capital in two weeks.

The United Nations reports that 26,000 have been displaced due to fighting in Hudaydah Governorate. Fighting is centered around the airport compound and residential areas to the south of Hudaydah city. Over forty airstrikes have been reported in other areas across the country as well.

March 7-14: MbS visits UK, Trump fires Tillerson

3/7

CNN highlighted the recently introduced Senate Joint Resolution 54 as a long overdue effort to end US support to the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embarked on a controversial three-day visit to the United Kingdom that was met with widespread protests over the ongoing Saudi military campaign in Yemen. During this visit, UK Prime Minister Theresa May urged the Saudis to allow full humanitarian access in Yemen.

November 1-6: Coalition bombs market, Saudis blame Iran for Houthi missile

11/1

The BBC reports that a coalition airstrike in Sa'dah killed approximately 26 people. The strike targeted a crowded market of civilians, including children.  

The BBC reports that a ballistic missile fired from Yemen was intercepted near Riyadh. No casualties were reported.

UNOHCHR: Parties to the Conflict Commit Human Rights Abuses with Impunity in Yemen

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published a report on the situation of human rights in Yemen. The report enumerates the violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law committed by all parties to the conflict in Yemen since September 2014, when the Houthi-Saleh coup against the legitimate government began. Civilians face indiscriminate and targeted military attacks, arbitrary and illegal arrest and detention, restricted access to humanitarian aid, and a devastating blockade that smothers the economy. Furthermore, violators throughout Yemen are committing such offenses with total impunity.

The UK Must Change its Policy Approach to Saudi Arabia

James Firebrace, a retired British diplomat, and Sherine El-Taraboulsi, of the Overseas Development Institute, wrote an op-ed outlining recommendations for the UK government regarding its engagement with Saudi Arabia. The UK has the potential to exert influence over peace processes in the Middle East, but its current support of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen undermines its moral standing and dedication to humanitarian principles. In order to maintain credibility as a mediator, Firebrace and El-Taraboulsi recommend that the UK reduce its unconditional military support for Saudi Arabia, pressure Saudi Arabia to allow humanitarian imports, and call for more accountability in human rights violations.

Pentagon’s airstrike investigations are incomplete and insufficient

On March 16th, 2017, more than 38 civilians were killed in a U.S. airstrike shortly before the night prayer at a mosque in al-Jinah area in Aleppo, Syria. While the airstrike was conducted to hit an Al-Qaeda meeting, the U.S. Central Command approved the strike without having a correct estimation of possible civilian casualties or accurate intelligence about the nature of the to-be-targeted building. Brigadier General Bontrager described the airstrike in a recent press briefing as “frustrating” and denied the Pentagon had any prior knowledge that the targeted building had a religious purpose.

April 25-May 1: $1.2 billion raised by UN for humanitarian efforts, international community warns against Hudaydah offensive

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

UNICEF published a press release today urging the international community to donate to UN efforts to combat the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. The UN held a pledging drive today in Geneva to raise funding for humanitarian aid in the country. The drive raised a total of $1.1 billion, approximately half of the UN’s 2017 emergency response budget. The United States announced that it would provide an additional $94 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen.

The United Nations, joined now by Russia as well, continues to warn the Saudi-led coalition against attacking the Port of Hudaydah. Amnesty International also released an article emphasizing the risk to civilian lives that such an offensive would carry. The UNHCR says that it is preparing for the potential displacement of an additional half a million people if the fighting in Hudaydah intensifies.

April 17-24: "Famine-like" conditions evident, aid organizations call for more funds to prevent catastrophe

Monday, April 17, 2017

According to the Emirates News Agency, the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) will provide 53 Yemenis affected by the war with medical treatment at hospitals in India.

Gulf News reports that Yemeni government forces have gained control of a military base north of al-Mokha. Houthi-Saleh forces had used the base to launch missile attacks against coalition forces along the coast.

An article from AP focuses on the work of Fadia Najib Thabet, a student in Vermont who recently received the Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award for her work as a child protection officer in southern Yemen.

June 16-22: Geneva talks fail, IS kills civilians in Sanʻa

News coverage over the past week has been dominated by the UN-sponsored talks in Geneva, which yielded no tangible results. Bombings attributed to local affiliates of the Islamic State have also drawn the attention. The failure of Geneva talks, which wrapped up on Friday, seemed to be well predicted in the local press coverage. On Tuesday, UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed opened the preliminary consultations with the conflicting parties after the Houthi-led delegates from Sanʻa were finally able to arrive in Geneva. But the delegates from Riyadh (representing the Hadi regime in exile) and Sanʻa refused to meet in one place; the talks were conducted with the two groups in separate rooms. In the end, mediators failed to come up with the hoped-for seven-point statement, which would have included a ceasefire during the holy month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led airstrikes continued to hit several cities across the country as the pro-Houthi/Saleh forces continued to advance in the adjacent governorates of Marib and al-Jawf.

On Saturday, hours after the Geneva talks came to an end, airstrikes hit the runways of Sanʻa International Airport and al-Dailami Airbase in the capital, which was seen as a way of preventing the Houthi-led delegates from returning to Sanʻa. On Sunday, Sirah Fortress in Aden and the Great Dam of Marib were both hit by Saudi airstrikes.

Although the airstrikes were providing air cover for the so-called “popular resistance” fighters over the past week, the pro-Houthi/Saleh forces claimed to have captured three tribal encampments—Nakhla, al-Suhail, and Labant—out of five spread alongside the capital city of the oil-rich province of Marib. Moreover, clashes continued to rage in the southern cities of Aden, al-Dhaliʻ and Lahj as well as the central cities of Taʻiz and al-Baydha.

Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed Sanʻa-based branch of the Islamic State has resurfaced, having been quiet since its devestating March attack on mosques frequented by Houthi loyalists (among others). On the eve of Ramadan (Wednesday), four car bombs simultaneously targeted two Sanʻa mosques, the Houthi Political Bureau, and the house of a leading member of Ansar Allah. On Saturday, the same group allegedly carried out another car bomb attack on a mosque in the Old City of Sanʻa, killing at least two people.