civilian casualties

June 22-28: Houthis Attack Civilians in KSA, UN Envoy Meets Yemeni Government in Riyadh

Sunday, June 23

Another Houthi drone attack targeting Saudi Arabia's Abha Airport killed one Syrian resident and injured 21 other civilians from several different nations. The attack was the second in less than two weeks against the same Saudi airport. Ansar Allah claims the airport is used for military operations against Yemen, but publicly available flight data confirms that it is a civilian commercial airport serviced by a number of domestic airlines.

Tuesday, June 25

Saudi officials announced that Saudi and Yemeni special forces captured the leader of Islamic State’s branch in Yemen, Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, earlier this month. An American official speaking on anonymity confirmed that seizure took place on June 3rd in a raid aided by elite US forces and American intelligence. The Saudi statement made no mention of a US role in the capture.

The Houthi militia blocked a food shipment from the World Food Programme meant to feed 100,000 families. The Houthis ordered over 8,000 tons of food to leave the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, claiming it was contaminated with dead insects.

June 8-14: Houthis escalate cross-border drone attacks, coalition airstrikes kill civilians in San’a

Sunday, June 9

Al-Masirah, a Houthi propaganda agency, reported that Houthi drones targeted Saudi drone  facilities at Jizan International Airport, which al-Masirah claims has been converted into a military airbase. Saudi Arabian air defense forces intercepted two of the Houthi aircraft.

Monday, June 10
A woman and her three daughters were injured when a Houthi shell struck their home in northern Ta’iz today, al-Masdar Online reports.

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.

September 15-21: Griffiths meets Houthis in San’a, humanitarian outlook worsens

9/15

The World Food Program reported that their Red Sea Mill Silos, which “mill a quarter of the WFP’s monthly wheat requirements,” came under attack. Additionally, a mortar shell was launched by an unidentified armed group at another WFP warehouse location. This warehouse was reported to be holding enough food for 19,200 people. Since these incidents, the WFP has been unable to deliver aid to civilians.  

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 14-27: Civilians killed in Durayhimi, government-UAE tensions ratchet up again

8/14

Yemeni journalists on social media reported intense fighting between Houthi and coalition forces in the streets of al-Durayhimi, just south of Hudaydah City. Journalist Baseem al-Jenani reported multiple civilian casualties and heavy damage to residential neighborhoods.

8/15

The AP reported that fighting in al-Durayhimi killed at least 13 civilians in 24 hours. Sources also say Houthi shelling killed five civilians in Hajjah, where the Houthis face resistance from some local tribes as well as the coalition.

The AP quoted US officials who confirm that the UAE has paid money to Yemeni tribes to facilitate the withdrawal of AQAP from certain areas. This follows an earlier AP report that detailed the UAE’s practice of accommodating AQAP, and incorporating AQAP members into pro-government forces.

UAE military leaders told The Independent that the Emirati military intends to remain in Yemen for as long as it takes to “crush” AQAP, even after the Houthis are defeated. Many Yemenis believe that the UAE has colonial ambitions in southern Yemen, and its methods in the fight against AQAP have been criticized.

March 26-April 2: US & UN respond to Houthi missiles, new UN envoy begins work

3/26

“If the warring sides care about Yemen, they should make concessions and save us from this plight,” says Suha Salem, a Yemeni woman, in an al-Jazeera article reporting female civilians’ experiences with the war.

A YouGov poll in France showed that 75% of French people want President Macron to suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia and other countries involved in the Yemeni war.

An International Rescue Committee report found that the Saudi-led coalition is depriving civilians in Yemen of basic healthcare, killing far more than the fighting itself. According to the report, 9.3 million Yemenis are denied life-saving health services, while only half of health facilities in Yemen are operational.

January 8-15: US official optimistic about port access; WaPo previews UN Expert Panel report

1/8

The Economist published an article on the recent movements of the Yemeni National Army. The Army had previously been trapped in a year-long stalemate, but have recently started making progress toward Hudaydah, as well as making gains in al-Jawf in the north and Shabwah in the south. The Economist attributed these recent movements to the opportunities that have been created from shifting alliances since Saleh’s death in December.


Afrah Nasser asserted in an article published by openDemocracy that Yemen continues to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. One point of particular concern to Nasser is the face that the number of civilian deaths reported is inconsistent with the level of suffering that is occurring on the ground.

January 1-7: Houthis launch another missile at KSA, UN reports on aid access

1/1

Al Arabiya identified four members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard who have allegedly been advising the Houthis in San’a.

In the international arena, President Bashir of Sudan confirmed the Sudanese government's continued support of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

1/2

The Office of the Governor in al-Mahrah issued a statement asking local customs to refuse the entry of materials such as trucks, fertilizers, pipes, and motorcycles, which could have long-term negative economic effects on farmers as well as food production.

December 18-31: Coalition airstrikes kill hundreds in two weeks; Houthis shell homes in Ta'iz and Baydha

12/18

In another sign of the collapse of the Houthi-Saleh Alliance, Critical Threats reported that forces loyal to deceased President Saleh have stopped supporting the Houthis and have begun supporting the Emirati-led offensive to retake the Red Sea coast.

12/19

The Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, released a statement claiming there were 136 verified civilian deaths caused by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes from December 6th to December 16th. These deaths took place in San’a, Sa’dah, al-Hudaydah, and Ta’iz governorates.

December 11-17: Coalition offensive continues in Tihamah, Islah leader meets with UAE

12/11

A pro-coalition article asserted that the United Arab Emirates is in command of the coalition/National Army/Southern Resistance offensive advancing toward Hudaydah.

Al Arabiya reported that Tehran evacuated 40 military advisors, as well as UN workers, from San’a following the death of an Iranian Missile expert who was killed last Saturday.

US Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas), senior members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, are calling for new sanctions on Iran for its destabilizing activities in Yemen. They have introduced a bill they claim will hold Tehran accountable for their support of the Houthis.

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.

September 12 - 18: Houthis and coalition kill children in illegal attacks

Human Rights Watch said that recent coalition airstrikes that killed children in Yemen likely constitute war crimes. The human rights organizations specifically cites four air strikes that struck civilian homes and one that destroyed a grocery store.

Human Rights Watch also urged Congress to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and help curb the proliferation of war crimes in Yemen.

July 31-August 6: Military offensive opens against AQAP in Shabwah; civilians killed in Sa'dah

Monday, July 31

Yemen expert Peter Salisbury penned an article for Chatham House warning that the country’s war economy, in which President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, militia leaders, and others have stakes, is undermining efforts toward a diplomatic solution to the ongoing civil war. Read more here.

Tuesday, August 1

Reuters reported that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has begun using a new route to transport weapons to the Houthis. The route, which was selected in order to evade the blockade on Yemen, reportedly runs through Kuwaiti waters. The Kuwaiti foreign minister denied the report.

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.

Secrecy, Drone Strikes, and Rule of Law

Drone strikes have become an inevitable part of warfare over the past decade. However, accountability and transparency have not. According to the new report Out of the Shadows, the lack of transparency in US targeted killing operations increases ill will towards the United States, undermines the advancement of human rights and rule of law, and decreases American credibility. The harm this causes is counterproductive to American strategy abroad and causes untold amounts of human misery, and yet, a lack of accountability persists. While greater transparency is not a panacea to resolve these issues, it does matter to the families of the victims, to the voting public of the United States, and to international partners who rely on the United States.

41 NGOs to Senate: Block PGM sales to Saudi Arabia. Vote for S.J.Res.42

The YPP, along with 40 other national and local organizations, sent the below letter urging Congress to vote in support of S.J.Res.42 to block the pending $510 million arms sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia. Recently, bipartisan members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives introduced joint resolutions of disapproval to block the sale of these weapons due to their repeated use against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Yemen. 

May 23-29: Cholera on the rise, US kills civilians in Marib raid

Tuesday, May 23

The Associated Press reports that US special operations forces raided a suspected al-Qaeda hideout in the al-Sarim area of Marib Governorate. US Central Command claimed that at least seven militants were killed, possibly more. Later, it came to light that at least five civilians were killed, including an elderly man and a teenaged boy. It was the second publicly-acknowledged ground raid US forces have conducted in Yemen this year. The first, conducted in January, killed 25 civilians and sparked international outrage.