peace talks

Nov. 30 - December 7: UN-sponsored talks begin in Sweden, hunger survey shows worsening conditions


The International Crisis Group published a report which called on US officials to take advantage of the leverage generated by the advancement of Senate Joint Resolution 54 to pressure the Saudi-led coalition to pause the fighting in al-Hudaydah and give peace talks a chance to succeed.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour concluded a visit to Yemen, demanding that “the warring parties to do “‘absolutely everything humanly possible’ to prevent renewed fighting in the port city of Al Hudaydah.”


The World Health Organization reported that the cholera outbreak in Yemen “is accelerating again with roughly 10,000 suspected cases now reported per week, double the average rate for the first eight months of 2018.”

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


“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.

Analysis: the causes of the Saudi-Qatari rift

The recent diplomatic crisis between several Arab states, headed by Saudi Arabia, and Qatar has caused ripples across the region and the world. Yemen, the site of military interventions by both Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has been particularly affected as Qatari troops withdraw from the country and certain Salafi elements protest Saudi tactics. Gabriele vom Bruck, senior lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, penned an analysis in Le Monde Diplomatique about the Saudi-Qatari rift, entitled “Qatar crisis: Saudi Arabia as anti-hero?” highlighting the significance of the spat for Yemen.

NGOs welcome UN Security Council Statement on Yemen: Words Must Now be Turned into Action

On Monday, 19 June 2017, the Yemen Peace Project, along with 10 other humanitarian and human rights organizations, released a joint statement commending the UN Security Council presidential statement on Yemen. The statement urges the UNSC to turn their words into action to end Yemen's suffering and find an immediate political solution to the conflict. 

NGOs say women’s inclusion in peacebuilding is crucial

Oxfam and SaferWorld recently released a briefing paper on the role of Yemeni women in local, national and international peacebuilding efforts. The publication highlights the advances in representation that women in Yemen have fought for during the country’s ongoing civil war, the measures necessary to ensure greater and more meaningful participation by women in Yemen’s peace process, and the need to include women as active participants in peacebuilding in order to build a meaningful and lasting peace.

December 26-January 1: Disagreement over proposed UN peace deal continues into 2017

Monday, December 26 Al Jazeera’s closed bureau in San’a was raided by Houthi forces hours after the network aired a program about the group’s looting of heavy arms. Saeed Thabit, head of Al Jazeera's Yemen office, said in a statement on Facebook that the Houthis stole what was left of office equipment and furniture.

November 28-December 4: Houthi formation of government elicits criticism, UN envoy struggles to restart talks

Monday, November 28: A Houthi political council announced that it has unilaterally formed a new government, a surprise and unwelcome move that will stifle the efforts of the UN envoy to Yemen who has been working towards creating a unity government.

November 7-13: Increase in deadly clashes along Yemen-Saudi border

Monday, November 7UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed addressed reporters in San’a to reiterate his calls to end the conflict and highlight the need for increased humanitarian aid. "People are dying...the infrastructure is falling apart...and the economy is on the brink of abyss."

The World Health Organization released a statement on the same day, reporting that more than 7,070 people had been killed and over 36,818 injured as of October 25, while another 21 million people are in urgent need of health services.

The WHO also reports that more than half of all medical facilities in Yemen are closed or are only partially functioning and there is a critical shortage of doctors in 40% of all districts. A lack of access to healthcare means that many Yemenis are deprived of life-saving operations and treatments.

Tuesday, November 8 For election day in the United States, Al Jazeera interviewed citizens of Tunisia, Yemen, and Gaza about their opinions of this year’s candidates and US policy in the Middle East.

“We hope the upcoming US administration--be it Clinton or Trump--pays due attention to Yemen and is interested in resolving the current conflict, especially the humanitarian conditions that are deteriorating,” said one Yemeni man.

Another added, "I expect no change in US foreign policy, namely towards the Muslim world; especially with Trump. As for Hillary Clinton, I believe she will follow the same policies of Obama, namely to cause a rift among the Arabs and cause them to fight each other, while they stand as spectators."

During a visit to Lebanon, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for a political solution to the conflict in Yemen.

"We should admit that there is no military solution, neither for the Yemeni crisis nor for the Syrian crisis," Zarif said. "We believe that continuing to use military methods in order to win the Yemeni and Syrian crises will only lead to more fighting and bloodshed."

An analysis in the Huffington Post attempts to explain why Saudi Arabia continues its military campaign in Yemen despite the steep costs. One of the chief motives for pushing forward with the war is the kingdom’s desire to rally the public around a common Shi’i enemy, simultaneously distracting the Saudi populace from serious economic problems at home while inciting hatred of the kingdom’s regional rival.

An official in Hadi’s government reportedly told Anadolu News Agency that the exiled president considers a plan proposed by the UN to be “a betrayal of the blood of [Yemen's] martyrs.” The roadmap put forward by Special Envoy to Yemen Ould Cheikh Ahmed would marginalize Hadi's role in a proposed transitional period.

Wednesday, November 9 Pro-government forces in Yemen claimed to have killed 30 al-Qaeda suspects at a farm west of Mukalla. Four soldiers were also killed in the clashes.

The Sunday Times reports that the UK has deployed its most advanced warship, the HMS Daring, to the Red Sea to protect critical shipping lanes. Both US and UAE vessels have been targeted by Houthi forces in the Red Sea over the past month, while an oil tanker was attacked by pirates.

Thursday, November 10 Houthi military sources told Saba News Agency that their forces have captured the two Saudi towns of al-Kars and al-Dafiniya, killing dozens of Saudi soldiers. The sources claimed that this was a military response to the Saudi-led coalition’s continued targeting of Yemen’s infrastructure.

Friday, November 11 The sub-governor of the Central Bank of Yemen, Ibrahim al-Nahari, was dismissed by Hadi’s government following the relocation of the CBY from San’a to Aden. Al-Nahari was fired on the pretext of forging reports to foreign financial institutions, though no evidence for this accusation has been made public.

Saudi press reports that Houthi missiles fired into the kingdom’s southern Dhahran province injured 14 civilians. The same report claims that Houthi forces launched failed attacks in Al-Qabbaytah region of Lahj province, southeast of Ta’iz.

Sunday, November 13 UK Ambassador to Yemen Edmund Fitton-Brown writes for Al-Arabiya to explain a prospective roadmap for peace in Yemen:

“The terms of the roadmap would see the Houthi militia and Saleh loyalists withdraw from areas they have occupied, including the capital Sana’a and the cities of Taiz and Hodeidah. They would also be required to hand over their heavy weaponry.

“In return, a new Vice-President enjoying extensive national acceptability and credibility will be appointed who assumes full Presidential authority and oversees the formation of a new Government of National Unity. And it will be this Government which takes forward the political transition envisaged for Yemen back in 2012, leading to democratic elections and a new Constitution chosen by the Yemeni people.”

More than 350,000 Yemeni children were unable to resume their education in the past school year, bringing the total of out-of-school children in the country to over two million, according to UNICEF.

Thousands of students in Ta’iz now study in homes rather than at their former schools, over 2,000 of which have been either destroyed or repurposed as military facilities or humanitarian shelters.

An excellent article by Ben Hubbard in the New York Times offers insight into life on the ground in San’a and surrounding areas. Hubbard interviews average Yemenis who are facing extreme hardships including unemployment, malnourishment, and a lack of medical supplies.

The Yemeni army said in a statement that its forces and the Saudi-led coalition had struck Houthi sites in the districts of Midi and Harad in Hajjah province, killing “scores” of Houthi fighters.

October 10-16: US launches attack on Houthi stations; Saudi says funeral strike was mistake

Monday, October 10Stopping short of accepting responsibility for last week’s bombing of a San’a funeral, the coalition says it “regrets” the strike and promises to release results of an investigation into the incident. It also agreed to British participation in the investigative process. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the bombing was “a heartless attack on civilians and an outrageous violation of international humanitarian law.”

UK Foreign Office minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood is due to hold talks with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Jubair, exiled president Hadi, and the UN Special Envoy for Yemen.

Photos surfacing on social media show fragments of US-made explosives used in last week’s Saudi bombing of a funeral in San’a, which killed at least 140 people and injured hundreds more.

Emails and other records obtained by Reuters show that US officials were concerned that last year’s $1.3 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia would lead to the US being implicated in war crimes, as anonymous state department officials were skeptical that Saudi airstrikes would be capable of avoiding civilians. This article lays out the theoretical legal precedent for the US being charged with war crimes for its participation in Yemen’s conflict.

The US Navy commented on Sunday’s targeting of one of its vessels in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, saying that it is unsure if the missiles, fired from Houthi-held territory, were aimed intentionally at the USS Mason.

Tuesday, October 11 Following last week’s deadly funeral bombing, international organizations (and the New York Times’ editorial board) have been ramping up pressure on the US to halt its support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. The White House stated that its support for the kingdom “is not a blank check”.

“In light of the attack over the weekend, with the scrutiny that that attack legitimately calls for, we are going to undertake additional reviews of aid and assistance that goes to Saudi Arabia,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said during a press conference.

Kirby, however, defended the coalition’s actions and internal investigations following a question about the difference between bombing civilians in Syria and in Yemen.

Amy Goodman interviewed Nasser Arrabyee to comment on the devastating funeral airstrike.

“The big criminal is Obama himself," Arrabyee says. "This is how Yemenis see to the situation, because every Yemeni believes that Saudi Arabia would not have done that at all, would not have done a war in Yemen, without the approval of Obama.”

The Pentagon hints at retaliation for Sunday’s missile attack on USS Mason launched from Houthi-held territory.

"Anybody who takes action, fires against U.S. Navy ships operating in international waters, does so at their own peril," Pentagon spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis told a news briefing.

Saba News Agency reported that at least six military and security personnel were killed in last week’s airstrike. They include three commanders of the Republican Guard, loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh: General Ali al-Jaefi and Brigadiers Abdulmalik Marzooq and Ali al-Hamzi. General Ahmed Manea, a member of the Supreme Security Committee, deputy security chief of Sanaa province, Ahmed al-Shalef, and head of the rebels' civil status authority, Brigadier Yehya al-Rowaishan, were also listed as killed in the attack.

Wednesday, October 12 Although some hope that last week’s airstrikes will put pressure on both sides to return to the negotiating table, April Longley Alley argues that mounting violence and the death of a number of prominent personalities will “empower hard-liners over peacemakers while undercutting capacity to implement any future accord.”

Yemen is in the running for an Oscar for the first time ever with the film I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced, which tells the real-life story of Nojoom who was married at the age of nine and struggled to obtain a divorce from her 30-year-old husband. The film was directed by Khadija al-Salami and filmed in Yemen.

The USS Mason was targeted a second time in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. The missiles, fired from Houthi-controlled territory, did not strike the vessel.

Thursday, October 13 In its first direct military action against the Houthis, the US Navy launched Tomahawk cruise missiles into Houthi-controlled territory, destroying three coastal radar sites.

The strikes took place after missiles from Houthi-controlled territory unsuccessfully targeted the USS Mason twice in the past week.

Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook said, “These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation in this important maritime passageway...The United States will respond to any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic, as appropriate, and will continue to maintain our freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb, and elsewhere around the world.”

“We don’t seek a wider role in this conflict,” adding that the strikes were “not connected to the broader conflict in Yemen.” Cook also said, “Should we see a repeat, we will be prepared to take appropriate action again.”

The US strikes are seen by some Yemenis, and portrayed by Houthi leadership, as evidence that the US is continuing to wage a direct war on Yemen.

“The Americans have been patronizing and directing the war from the very beginning,” said Brig. Gen. Sharaf Luqman, a spokesman for the rebel alliance.

Chairman of the Houthi governing council Saleh al-Samad said in a statement that the strikes by the US vessel were “direct American intervention” and a final move of desperation. Samad added that the US has taken to “fabricating lies and pretexts in order to justify an extensive military operation along the coasts of al-Hudaydah, al-Mokha, and Bab al-Mandeb.”

Abdalmalik al-Houthi, the movement’s leader, also released a statement calling the US action a crime that is intended to pave the way for an operation targeting al-Hudaydah.

Also on Thursday, Iran deployed two vessels to the Red Sea “to protect the country’s trade vessels against piracy,” according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency. Foreign Policy points out that piracy no longer exists in that area.

Speaking to the Washington Post, an anonymous US official said that future military assistance to Saudi Arabia may partly hinge on their willingness to embrace an “urgently needed” ceasefire.

“We are telling the Saudis that supporting their territorial integrity, their sovereignty, that’s one thing. But their campaign inside Yemen is something else, particularly if they’re not prepared to accept the unconditional, immediate cessation of hostilities that we’ve called for,” the official said.

Friday, October 14 President Obama tells Congress that Thursday’s strikes on Houthi targets were a “limited and proportionate” response to threats against US vessels in the Red Sea.

Meanwhile, senior administration officials held a briefing on the strikes, emphasizing that they were in self defense and “not meant to indicate support for coalition operations either in Yemen writ large or on the Red Sea. And we also made clear in public statements that we were not intending to be brought into the war in any fashion.”

One of the officials confirmed that the US is “certain” that the missiles were launched by Houthi forces, but the motives for the targeting of a US vessel is still unclear.

Former US ambassador to Yemen Stephen Seche speaks to NPR’s Morning Edition about the extent of America’s involvement in Yemen’s war and outlines what each party in the conflict wants.

“One of the key moments we face now is to not internationalize this conflict any further. It's already been deeply distorted by the 18 months of the protracted bombing by the Saudi coalition. The Iranians don't have a deep stake in Yemen. For them, it's mostly an opportunity to agitate and unnerve the Saudis.”

An explosion struck a Marib funeral for Major General Abdulrab al-Shadady, killing six and wounding 20. It is unclear who was responsible for the attack.

President of Oxfam America, Ray Offenheiser, offers a scathing critique of US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

“U.S. support for the coalition will continue even though the very need for a review casts a long shadow on anything that takes place until it is finalized.

“The lack of transparency from the get-go is an insult to the families of the massacred, who are still burying their dead, and for the families of those wounded in the attack desperately trying to seek assistance for their loved ones. At the very least, the U.S. should suspend its support for the campaign until the review is completed.”

The story of Abdullah Rashid, a Sa’dah resident in need of biweekly dialysis treatment and medication, highlights the daily challenges that Yemen’s patients and medical facilities face due to a lack of supplies and staff, and a constant threat of airstrikes.

Saturday, October 15 Two US citizens held by Houthi forces in Yemen were released and transported to Oman after mediation by sultanate authorities. The Department of State did not reveal their identities, but thanked Oman for “assistance in facilitating and supporting” their release.

The Saudi-led coalition partially accepted responsibility for last week’s strike that killed 140 funeral attendees, saying that the targeting was based on “bad information”. An inquiry was conducted by the coalition and concluded that the wrongful airstrike was due to “non-compliance with coalition rules of engagement" and "incorrect information", that was reportedly issued from "a party affiliated to the Yemeni presidency of the general chief of staff”. The investigation, welcomed by the US Department of State, determined that families of the victims should be compensated.

One of those victims, 25-year-old student Sadeq Abdullah Saleh al-Guraizea, was attending the funeral with his father after the closure of San’a airport forced him to remain in Yemen rather than return to his studies in Malaysia.

Read the Washington Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan’s take on the coalition’s investigation into the funeral attack here.

The USS Mason was targeted for a third time by cruise missiles from Houthi-controlled territory. The missiles again failed to strike the vessel.

Sunday, October 16 The US and UK called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire between warring parties in Yemen. US Secretary of State John Kerry said if both sides accepted the ceasefire then UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed would work through the details and the parties would move towards negotiations.

Houthi spokesperson Mohamed Abdelsalam responded to this proposal, saying that a necessary condition to any agreement is coalition forces ceasing all attacks and lifting the siege. Abdelsalam posted on his Twitter account that “A complete ceasefire by land, air, and sea, along with lifting the siege and opening up the no-fly zone is something that all Yemenis demand.”

September 26-October 2: UN investigators to be added to Yemen inquiry

Monday, September 26The UK is backing a draft UN resolution “to dispatch a monitor and report on the situation of human rights in Yemen.” British support for the international inquiry may indicate a shift in the country’s policy towards, and support of, the Saudi-led war, but rights groups say this proposal still falls short of a full, independent investigation that is needed in Yemen.

Yemeni forces killed suspected al-Qaeda chief Abdullah Hubaibat during a raid of his home in Loder, Abyan province, according to security officials. The alleged insurgents exchanged fire with security forces, killing one Yemeni soldier and two other al-Qaeda suspects.

Tuesday, September 27 The US state department says it is “deeply concerned” by reports of American citizens detained in Yemen by the Houthi-controlled National Security Bureau and is calling for their release. The statement follows last week’s report of an American teacher who was abducted from a school in San’a.

“Such detentions are unacceptable, put in jeopardy any Houthi efforts to establish that they are credible and responsible interlocutors, and invite serious questions about their commitment to seek a lasting peace for Yemen.”

To the dismay of human rights organizations, UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson has rejected calls for Britain to support an international inquiry into Saudi war crimes in Yemen. Johnson said that the UK is already "using a very, very wide variety of information sources about what is happening to acquaint ourselves with the details" of Yemen’s war.

Doctors Without Borders released two reports detailing coalition airstrikes on its medical facilities in Yemen. The two attacks resulted in the death of 20 people, most of them patients, and wounded 32 others. MSF says there was no legitimate reason for these attacks, one on a hospital in Hajjah governorate on August 15, 2016, and another at a clinic in Ta’iz on December 2, 2015.

Security Belt Forces in Aden have deported over 200 African immigrants, mostly Ethiopians, according to local officials and residents. A statement by the security forces justified the deportation saying it would prevent the migrants from joining the Houthi movement and al-Qaeda.

An analysis in Atlantic Council’s MENASource warns that Saudi Arabia’s aggressions in Yemen are placing unprecedented strain on US relations with the kingdom. To mend these rifts, the coalition must allow impartial investigations into alleged war crimes and hold those in command accountable for their actions. The recent Senate vote on a bill to block the transfer of $1.15 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, “demonstrates a rising frustration with the daily loss of civilian life, collateral damage that includes humanitarian efforts to mitigate the suffering caused by the conflict, and damage to essential infrastructure necessary for post-conflict reconstruction.”

Wednesday, September 28 Coalition spokesperson General Ahmed al-Asiri says that Saudi Arabia will not agree to a peace deal unless it requires the Houthis to disband their armed wing, saying that the kingdom would not "accept an armed militia at our back door." The announcement by the coalition is a rejection of last week’s truce proposed by the Houthis.

US Department of Defense’s Central Command reports two more drone strikes on al-Qaeda targets in Yemen. The first strike on September 20 in Marib killed two alleged operatives while another in Baydah on September 22 killed two others.

UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore says that the Yemeni commission currently tasked with reporting human rights abuses "lacks impartiality [and] does not abide by the basic norms of protection.”

The Yemeni National Commission of Inquiry reports to Yemen’s exiled government and the Saudi-led coalition, the group responsible for the majority of civilian deaths in Yemen’s war. The UN Human Rights Council decides Thursday whether to continue with the Saudi-backed investigation or set up an independent inquiry.

Thursday, September 29 Saudi Arabia and other coalition states have dodged an independent UN-sanctioned inquiry into human rights abuses in Yemen, which was backed by rights groups, but UN investigators will be tasked with documenting violations by the coalition.

Human Rights Watch had appealed to the UN Human Rights Council to launch an international, independent investigation into Saudi war crimes in Yemen. The newly-approved inquiry is seen as a compromise, but rights groups say it falls short of a much-needed independent investigation.

Two suspected al-Qaeda leaders were killed in another US drone strike in Baydah, according to local officials. The strike was the third in central Yemen in a week.

Monasser Saleh al-Quaiti, Hadi’s newly-appointed head of Yemen’s central bank, reports that he was “handed over a bank empty of money, a monetary cycle that was incapable of circulating and a database that was not existent.”

Al-Quaiti pledged to keep the bank independent and pay salaries, “despite the (insurgent) Houthis keeping the database.”

Friday, September 30 Suspected Islamic State militants gunned down senior intelligence official General Ali Awwad at his home in Aden’s Buraqa district. IS claimed responsibility for the attack on their Twitter account.

Saturday, October 1 A UAE military vessel was struck by Houthi forces in the Bab al-Mandeb strait, off of Yemen's southern coast. The coalition claimed to have “rescued civilians from a vessel targeted by Houthi militias...that was transferring medical aid to the city of Aden and evacuating wounded civilians for treatment." The UAE military said that none of its crew was hurt. Houthi forces claimed to have destroyed the vessel.

A New York Times’ piece helps to explain why some wars and humanitarian catastrophes, like Yemen’s, go unnoticed, while others receive worldwide attention. “There is no obvious good-versus-evil story to tell [in Yemen]: The country is being torn apart by a variety of warring factions on the ground and pummeled from the air by Saudi Arabia, an American ally. There is no camera-ready villain for Americans to root against.”

Sunday, October 2 The US state department released a statement condemning Saturday’s attack by Houthi forces on a UAE vessel.

“We take these threats seriously. The United States remains committed to upholding freedom of navigation through the Bab al-Mandeb. We call on the Houthi-Saleh groups to immediately cease attacks against all vessels. These provocative actions risk exacerbating the current conflict and narrow the prospects for a peaceful settlement.

Saleh al-Sammad, head of the Houthi’s political council, appointed Abdel Aziz Saleh Abtour as “prime minister”, according to the Houthi-run Saba News website. Habtour is a former governor of Aden and a member of the political bureau of Saleh's General People's Congress.

September 19-25: Senate votes on Saudi arms deal, dozens of civilians die in airstrikes

Monday, September 19US officials have confirmed that the government sold white phosphorus to Saudi Arabia, which the coalition now appears to be using in Yemen. US regulations require that white phosphorus only be used for signalling and creating smoke screens, but the highly flammable material can also be used as a weapon against soldiers and civilians. It is still unclear how Saudi Arabia is using it in Yemen.

In addition to the white phosphorus munitions, Amnesty International confirmed that a US-made bomb was used in an August 15 Saudi airstrike on an MSF hospital, which killed 11 and injured 19.

“It is outrageous that states have continued to supply the Saudi Arabia-led coalition with weapons...despite stark evidence that those arms are being used to attack hospitals and other civilian objects and in other serious violations of international humanitarian law,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director at Amnesty International.

Tuesday, September 20 Gunmen reportedly abducted an American teacher from an English language school in San’a. The gunmen were seen by faculty and students forcing the teacher into a car outside of the school.

Saudi coalition airstrikes targeted the headquarters of the National Security Bureau in San’a’s historic old city, damaging homes in the UNESCO heritage site and killing one civilian. The coalition also bombed the nearby defense ministry, staff and residents reported.

The governing council of the Houthis and Saleh released a statement criticizing last week’s relocation of Yemen’s central bank from San’a to Aden by the exiled government. The statement says that the move reflects “desperation and lack of direction” by the Saudi regime and its supporters in Riyadh.

"This act from a legal perspective is null and void...We call on the international community especially the international monetary and financial institutions to stand by their decision to reject that move."

In preparation for Wednesday’s Senate vote on a $1.15 billion US arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Rand Paul (R-KY) explains why the transfer should be blocked and why congressional approval should have been required prior to US participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Wednesday, September 21 The US Senate debated and voted on a resolution to block a $1.15 billion weapons deal with Saudi Arabia. The resolution, sponsored by senators Chris Murphy and Rand Paul, did not pass. It did, however, receive bipartisan support from over a quarter of the Senate, indicating a possible shift in US backing of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Senator Murphy says he will continue to push for a reevaluation of US support for the kingdom.

There is a US imprint on every civilian death inside Yemen...We have given [assistance to the coalition] in substantial means and methods. We provide the bombs, we provide the refueling planes, we provide the intelligence. There is really no way that this bombing campaign could happen without US participation. The United States is at war in Yemen today.” -Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Here is a list of the senators that voted in favor and opposition to the resolution. To watch the Senate debate, start this video at 2:08:00.

At least 25 people were killed and 70 others wounded late on Wednesday when a Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit the residential al-Hunoud area of al-Hudaydah. The raid reportedly targeted a presidential palace used by Houthi rebels, but also destroyed neighboring homes.

The UK announced that it will increase humanitarian aid to Yemen by £37 million this year, bringing the total amount of aid to £100 million. The announcement comes amidst intense criticism of the British government for its billions of pounds worth of weapons deals with Saudi Arabia since the war in Yemen began in 2015. Overwhelming evidence from human rights organizations shows that British and American weapons are being used in the commission of humanitarian crimes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. For a brief and informative history of UK-Saudi relations, read this op-ed published in Middle East Monitor this week.

Thursday, September 22 Ashwaq Muharram, a doctor working in al-Hudaydah, is now working independently to provide food and medicine to those suffering from famine and illness in one of Yemen’s most impoverished areas. Muharram says she has never seen things so bad. “The rich are now the middle class, the middle class are now the poor, and the poor are now starving.”

Friday, September 23 Foreign ministers of Yemen’s ministerial quartet (US, UK, UAE, and Saudi Arabia) proposed a 72-hour ceasefire during a UN General Assembly meeting in New York in the hopes that a lull in fighting could bring about another round of peace talks.

An article by Peter Salisbury and Samuel Oakford in the Atlantic discusses contradictions and failures in the Obama administration’s policy towards Saudi Arabia. Despite a complete lack of strategic benefit from the war in Yemen, the United States continues to support and enable Saudi offenses.

The UN reports that at least 329 civilians have been killed and 426 injured in Yemen since August, when peace talks collapsed along with an unstable ceasefire. In September alone, 149 civilians have been killed. Nine of those deaths were attributed to pro-Houthi forces and 126 to the Saudi-led coalition.

Yemen’s president-in-exile Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi told the UN that the coalition “shall extract Yemen from the claws of Iran, we shall raise the Yemeni flag over every foot of our precious Yemeni soil and we will lay the foundation for a just federal state.”

Hadi also said that the operations undertaken by the (Houthi) militias, especially in Ta’iz, such as kidnappings, forced disappearances, and the implementation of blockades, are terrorist actions that are no different from those committed by the Islamic State group or al-Qaeda. His full speech can be seen here.

Saturday, September 24 The UK has refused to back an international inquiry into Saudi war crimes proposed by the Netherlands, causing the inquiry to be replaced with a weaker version that human rights organizations deem insufficient to establish facts related to violations in Yemen.

Yemen’s government-in-exile plans to issue a complaint to the UN of Iran’s transfer of weapons to the Houthis.

"It is impossible to hide that weapons-smuggling is still taking place from Iran. Some of these weapons have been found on the Saudi-Yemeni border and they are Iranian weapons," Yemen’s foreign minister Abdel Malek al-Mekhlafi said.

Late night coalition airstrikes in Ibb killed nine civilians and wounded nine others, according to the local hospital officials. Locals say the nine killed include three children and their parents.

An apparent US drone strike in Ma’rib killed five suspected members of al-Qaeda. A security official claims those killed were local commander Abu Khaled al-Sanaani and four of his guards.

Sunday, September 25 Saleh al-Samad, the chief of the Houthi/Saleh political council in Yemen, proposed a truce where Houthi forces would halt attacks on Saudi Arabia if Saudi forces stopped airstrikes and lifted its blockade in Yemen.

"(In exchange for) stopping the aggression against our country by land, sea and air, stopping the air strikes and lifting the siege imposed on our country, in return (we will) stop combat operations on the border,” said al-Samad.

September 12-18: Deadly clashes near Ta'iz, Hadi orders relocation of CBY to Aden

Monday, September 12UN humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick says that he is deeply disturbed by “unrelenting attacks on civilians and on civilian infrastructure throughout Yemen by all parties to the conflict,” after Saturday’s coalition airstrike on a well in Arhab district killed 30 civilians.

Pro-government fighters are growing increasingly frustrated by the coalition’s inability to pay their salaries. Some soldiers are now being granted a few weeks leave from the army to find paid work elsewhere.

“The coalition had promised each recruit a minimum of about $270 a month — the prewar salary of a university professor with a master’s degree. But once on the front lines, according to several officers, most of the young men found themselves penniless for months on end.”

Three soldiers in Qatar’s armed forces were killed during operations in Yemen on Monday. Doha News later reported the soldiers’ names, but noted that their nationalities are unknown, as Qatar’s army includes soldiers from other countries.

According to Al Jazeera, Qatar has sent 1,000 ground troops to Yemen to support the coalition.

Tuesday, September 13 More shocking images of starving, emaciated Yemeni children are being circulated, drawing some attention to the country's critical food shortages. ABC and other outlets published these pictures along with statements from aid organizations.

Out of the 1.5 million children who are suffering from malnutrition, according to UNICEF, 370,000 suffer from severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition that requires urgent treatment.”

The Saudi-led coalition bombed an industrial site in San’a, targeting plants making pipes and building materials. The coalition claims the plant was being used to manufacture missile parts. The managing director of an Italian company affiliated with the factory says that the strike caused a fire that destroyed half the premises and resulted in several million dollars worth of damage. There were no casualties.

A US drone strike in Bayda province on Tuesday killed five suspected members of al-Qaeda, according to Yemeni security officials and a tribal chief. The alleged militants were traveling by car in the town of Rada.

Wednesday, September 14 Military sources told AFP that 12 Houthi fighters and three pro-government fighters were killed during fighting in Lahj and Ta’iz provinces, including clashes in a mountainous area in southwestern Yemen near the Bab al-Mandeb strait.

Thursday, September 15 Houthi forces have seized two oil tankers at the port of al-Hudaydah due to a payment dispute earlier this month. The two ships, owned by Singaporean company Ocean Tankers, have been held at the Red Sea port for months, according to Reuters. The seizure stems from a disagreement between Yemen Oil and Gas Company and CruGas, the company’s regular supplier. The seizure could disrupt the import of fuel and other essential goods to Yemen if companies see the country as too risky to trade with.

Forty fighters, including 27 Houthis and 13 pro-government forces, were killed during clashes near Ta’iz, says spokesperson for the government forces Colonel Sadeq al-Hassani. AFP reported the comments by the spokesperson, but the death toll could not be independently verified.

An important piece in the Guardian outlines a division in British parliament over arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Crispin Blunt, the Conservative chairman of the foreign affairs select committee, blocked a vote on the suspension of weapons sales to the kingdom after two select committees issued a joint report calling for an inquiry into alleged war crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

The committee says Saudi Arabia is “obstructing efforts to investigate the alleged violations,” adding that sales by the UK may have “the effect of conferring legitimacy” on Saudi Arabia’s actions.

Doctors Without Borders issued a statement on increased fighting in Yemen and the impact it has on civilian access to healthcare. The resumption of intense airstrikes across the country means that seeking medical care is now much more hazardous.

“The indirect victims of conflict are numerous. They include people who are unable to access medical facilities for treatment – for example, patients requiring blood transfusions or women requiring emergency caesarean sections. Even where a medical facility is functioning, it will likely lack the capacity to provide medical care due to shortages of key supplies, personnel or medicine, or have no fuel to run its generator. Some health facilities are simply too dangerous to reach, so people have to make do without.”

In Thursday’s press briefing, deputy spokesperson for the US state department Mark Toner addressed reports that Under Secretary of Political Affairs Tom Shannon met with Houthi representatives in Muscat this week to present a US proposal of a cessation of hostilities. Although Toner did not confirm Shannon’s travel to Muscat, the spokesperson said that the proposal is part of efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry to forge an agreement between the warring parties.

Friday, September 16 A survey conducted by human rights advocates and published in the Guardian shows that one in three Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen have hit civilian sites, such as schools and hospitals. Despite these findings, which support the accusation that the coalition is in violation of humanitarian law, the UK government is unlikely to suspend its arms sales to the kingdom. Since the war began in March 2015, the UK has sold 3.3 billion pounds worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Hudaydah’s residents, especially children, are facing famine and a lack of essential medical aid due to the ongoing war and blockade. In June, the UN listed the coastal city as the area of Yemen with “the highest malnutrition prevalence.”

“Here you won’t find a school, a medical center ... drinking water is from the wells. They are already deprived of everything,” said Ibrahim al-Kaali, a local social worker.

Yemen’s al-Islah party renounced the Muslim Brotherhood in a statement posted on its Facebook page: “No organizational or political relations link us to the international organization of Muslim Brotherhood, especially that the priorities of al-Islah as a political party are patriotic, and all the efforts exerted with its Yemeni partners lie in ending Yemen’s current crisis…”

A leader of al-Islah told Asharq al-Awsat that there has been “political confusion” in the region regarding the party’s connection with the Muslim Brotherhood.

A source close to the Houthi negotiating team in Oman says that US Under Secretary of Political Affairs Tom Shannon presented a proposal for a ceasefire in Yemen to Houthi representatives last week. The source did not disclose details of the proposal, but the US state department says it is an “extension of efforts” made by Kerry last month.

The Houthi negotiating team has been stuck in Oman since leaving Kuwait negotiations in early August. The group was prevented from returning to San'a by the Saudi-led coalition, which controls Yemen’s airspace. Saudi authorities say, however, that they will now allow the team to return to the capital.

Saturday, September 17 Hadi’s exiled government says that it will not enter into another round of peace talks with the Houthis until there are “clear assurances” that the governing council in San’a, formed by the Houthis and former president Saleh, has been dissolved.

Sunday, September 18 Hadi has ordered the relocation of the headquarters of the Central Bank of Yemen from San’a to Aden and has appointed Finance Minister Monasser al-Quaiti as the bank’s new head. The move is an attempt by Hadi’s exiled government to regain control over the country’s most important financial institution.

Last month, the government requested that international financial institutions prevent bank officials from accessing funds overseas, in the hopes of putting economic pressure on the Houthis. Restricted access to funds would also impact millions of Yemeni citizens, including teachers and doctors.

August 22-28: Kerry announces new plan for peace, exiled government targets CBY

Monday, August 22A joint report by UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration says that over 3,154,000 Yemenis have been displaced across the country as a result of the war in Yemen. The news release reports that due to the escalating conflict and worsening humanitarian conditions, displacement across the country has seen an increase of about seven percent since April, with 152,009 individuals fleeing from violence during this period.

The Control Arms Coalition said that Britain, the US, and France are in violation of the 2014 Arms Trade Treaty, which bans the export of weapons that disproportionately result in the death of civilians and the commission of other war crimes.

"It is extremely concerning that many transfers are still continuing, in particular the governments of the United States, the UK and France have authorized and are continuing to export very large quantities of weapons, including explosive weapons, bombs which are being used daily against civilians in Yemen," said Anna MacDonald, director of the Control Arms Coalition.

The Guardian tells the stories of victims of recent Saudi airstrikes and outlines the implications that these strikes have for Yemen’s conflict. San’a-based political analyst Hisham Al-Omeisy said airstrikes in recent weeks had become more indiscriminate. He added that while the Houthis were “guilty of hijacking and mismanaging the state”, it was the Saudi-led coalition that had “held the whole nation hostage to the current conflict and [had] been collectively and indiscriminately punishing.”

Congressman Ted Lieu and other American lawmakers have been pushing the Obama administration to suspend its support of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen due to the heavy civilian death toll. Speaking to The Intercept, Lieu explained his opposition to US involvement in the war: “You can’t kill children, newlyweds, doctors and patients — those are exempt targets under the law of war, and the coalition has been repeatedly striking civilians...So it is very disturbing to me. It is even worse that the U.S. is aiding this coalition.”

Tuesday, August 23 Deputy chief executive of Oxfam GB, Penny Lawrence, says that the UK government has switched from being an “enthusiastic backer” of the Arms Trade Treaty to being “one of the most significant violators.” In the past year, the UK licensed 3.3 billion pounds worth of arms to Saudi Arabia while the Saudi-led coalition has continued to bomb civilian targets.

“UK arms and military support are fuelling a brutal war in Yemen, harming the very people the Arms Trade Treaty is designed to protect. Schools, hospitals and homes have been bombed in contravention of the rules of war,” says Lawrence.

ABC show Foreign Correspondent aired an episode on the war in Yemen, and specifically the impact it has on Yemen’s children. Reporter Sophie McNeill visits Yemen’s hospitals to hear from the patients, their families, and the staff. The show includes an interview with a man who lost 18 members of his family, including his five-year-old daughter, in a coalition airstrike on a wedding party.

Wednesday, August 24 Yemen’s government-in-exile is now targeting the country’s central bank, cutting it off from the rest of the world as a way to put economic pressure on the Houthis. This move inevitably puts more pressure on Yemeni citizens as well, blocking their access to desperately-needed food imports. Yemen’s central bank is considered one of the country’s last stable institutions, and has done a remarkable job of managing Yemen’s economy and currency, given the circumstances.

According to Farea al-Muslimi, an analyst with the Middle East Institute in Washington DC, action against the central bank would cut "the only artery" holding the country together.

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Saudi Arabia to hold talks with the kingdom's officials and other Gulf leaders on the situation in Yemen and the stalled peace process.

Thursday, August 25 Kerry said during a press conference in Jeddah that there is a new plan to end the war in Yemen, which includes Houthis in a unity government in exchange for their transferring of arms to a third party. Kerry called the approach “fair and sensible”. He pledged $189 million of new US aid and criticized the international community’s response to the crisis in Yemen. 

Full press conference in Arabic here.

UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, is calling for an independent international investigation into a series of violations in Yemen. Hussein said in a statement today that Yemenis are suffering "unbearably [without] any form of accountability and justice, while those responsible for the violations and abuses against them enjoy impunity". However, the UN declined to accuse either side of war crimes, saying that it was for a national or international court to decide.

A spokesperson for the Red Cross based in Yemen says that the death toll of the 17-month-long war is so extensive that the organization has began to donate morgues.

“The hospitals were not able to cope,” said spokesperson Rima Kamal. “You could have more than 20 dead people brought into one hospital on one single day. The morgue capacity at a regular hospital is not equipped to handle this influx of dead bodies.”

Friday, August 26 CNN featured an important piece by Peter Salisbury on Kerry’s visit and press conference in Jeddah. The secretary of state failed to address in any detail recent Saudi airstrikes on an MSF hospital, a school, and a food factory, all of which incurred civilian casualties.

“The Houthis and Saleh, it needs to be repeated, are almost certainly committing war crimes in Yemen, according to human rights groups. With this in mind the Saudis, Yemenis opposed to the coup, and indeed Western officials, find it difficult to understand why so much attention is being paid to the Saudis' worst excesses. They aren't the bad guys, the argument goes. But this attitude contains a serious moral hazard: why should rogue states and rebel groups like the Houthis feel accountable for their actions if an ally of two of the UN's most influential member states is not also held to account for its actions or at least reined in?”

Saba news agency reported that 11 civilians were killed in Saudi airstrikes in Sa'dah. The outlet said that two houses in the district of Baqam were destroyed in an overnight raid. Rescue efforts were delayed due to fears of subsequent strikes as fighter jets continued to circle the area.

In response to comments by Secretary of State John Kerry, who said he was "deeply troubled" by images of Iranian-supplied missiles positioned along the Saudi-Yemen border by the Houthis, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said such statements were "baseless accusations."

Saturday, August 27

Yemen's government in exile said it welcomed a plan agreed upon by Gulf, US, and UN officials to restart peace talks with the goal of forming a unity government. Unlike the previous proposed deal that would have required the Houthis to hand in their weapons and withdraw from seized territory prior to a political settlement, Kerry suggested the prospective deal could move ahead in parallel.

Sunday, August 28 Following the exiled government's response to a possible peace deal to end Yemen's war, the Houthis also released a statement saying they are prepared to restart negotiations provided that the Saudi-led coalition stops airstrikes and lifts its blockade of Houthi-held territories.

August 1-7: Kuwait talks adjourned, confidential UN report leaked

Monday, August 1A 16th-century Ta’iz mosque housing a shrine to Sufi scholar Sheikh Abdulhadi al-Sudi was blown up by Islamist extremists, according to a local official who spoke to AFP. Yemen’s commission for antiquities and museums said that the mosque was one of Ta’iz’s most beautiful.

Torrential rains struck Yemen last week, killing eight in San’a’s suburbs, flooding streets and crops, and damaging property.

Negotiators from Hadi’s government in the Kuwait talks announced they were leaving after Houthi delegates refused to sign a UN-proposed deal that would require the Houthis to withdraw from seized territory and hand in their weapons before reconvening to form a government that would ostensibly include the Houthis.

Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi said that the government delegation was not abandoning the talks, but was simply leaving Kuwait until the Houthi delegation signed onto the initiative.

The United Nations World Food Programme reports a nearly five-fold increase in the number of Yemenis (approximately 600,000) to whom it has provided assistance since this February, especially in hard-to-reach areas such as Ta’iz. The increase of aid provisions is thanks to a locally driven voucher initiative, the Commodity-Voucher through Traders’ Network (CV-TN) project, which allows WFP to supply food commodities to families through a contracted local retailer in exchange for vouchers.

Tuesday, August 2 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced that Saudi Arabia will not be returned to the blacklist it was previously included on for violating children’s rights in Yemen. The removal in June was said to be temporary as a joint panel reviewed the accusations, but Saudi Arabia was taken off the list due to threats to cut funding to UN humanitarian programs.

The US Department of State’s Central Command announced two additional airstrikes in Yemen targeting al-Qaeda operatives. A July 8 strike reportedly killed one militant and a July 16 strike killed six more and injured one. Centcom claims that these airstrikes “continue to diminish AQAP’s presence in the region,” but AQAP in Yemen has managed to expand its territory and increase its income in recent years.

Wednesday, August 3 New UN figures indicate that approximately 370,000 children in Yemen are facing starvation and more than 14 million people, or half of Yemen’s population, are in urgent need of food and medical aid. This is a 50% increase from a year ago due to the ongoing 15-month-long war.

Thursday, August 4 A Saudi-led investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the coalition the kingdom is leading in Yemen predictably concluded that air strikes on markets and clinics, which resulted in high civilian death tolls, were largely in line with international law.

Measures taken by the coalition forces were sound and conformed to the rules and laws of the Geneva Accords," said Mansour bin Ahmed Mansour, spokesman for the investigative body. Mr. Mansour admits that there were a few shortcomings and instances where the coalition lacked proper intelligence.

A confidential UN report has concluded that all parties in Yemen’s conflict have violated international humanitarian law. Within the six-month period covered in the report, Houthi fighters were found to have used civilians as shields to avoid attacks while the Saudi-led coalition deliberately bombed a civilian house, killing four children.

Friday, August 5 The Norwegian Refugee Council released a statement to mark 500 days since the escalation of Yemen’s crisis and start of the Saudi-led intervention. During these 500 days, 6,500 civilians have been killed and 32,000 injured, while eight out of 10 Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, which is often inaccessible due to blockades imposed by both the Houthis and the Saudi coalition.

“Despite the staggering figures of ordinary Yemenis suffering because of the raging conflict, the outside world has kept its eyes shut to this crisis,” said NRC’s Country Director in Yemen, Syma Jamil. “The situation for Yemenis keeps deteriorating and it is now untenable. Yemenis won’t be able to cope for much longer.”

Saturday, August 6 The Houthis and the GPC announced that they are pushing forward with a ten-member council to govern Yemen, a move that is denounced by UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. The initiative is said to violate UN Security Council resolutions, but the Houthis claim that they will still participate in the Kuwait negotiations.

The negotiations, however, are adjourned for a month and are likely to resume in a different location. UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that, although the Kuwait talks have finished without a breakthrough, negotiations will continue. Ould Cheikh Ahmed stated that all parties are committed to reaching an agreement, but the envoy criticised the Houthis’ and Saleh’s move to form a ruling council to govern Yemen.

Yemen's government asked international financial institutions to prevent officials from the Central Bank of Yemen from accessing state funds held in overseas banks, according to state-run The move comes after Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr claimed to have received information that central bank officials were tapping Yemen’s foreign reserves held in European and American banks.

Sunday, August 7 Residents in the provinces of San’a, Ta’iz, Sa’dah, al-Jawf, and Hajjah report 30 airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Sunday alone. There were no civilian casualties reported, but 40 fighters from both sides were said to be killed north of San’a.

July 25-31: Hadi’s government threatens to withdraw from talks, Houthis reject UN peace deal

Monday, July 25Last week, the UK’s Foreign Office released corrections to a multitude of previous claims that the government had concluded that Saudi Arabia has not breached international humanitarian law in Yemen. The corrections state that the government is, in fact, unable to assess whether breaches have taken place. Due to these corrections, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is facing calls to change UK policy and back an investigation into Saudi Arabia’s likely war crimes in Yemen.

Some Arab leaders met for the 2016 Arab League Summit in Mauritania to discuss the region’s crises, including the war in Yemen. The summit was poorly attended, however, and was cut short to one day. President Hadi was one of the few leaders in attendance. He spoke about Yemen’s conflict, calling the continued air strikes on Yemen “a spark of hope,” and explained that the only way towards peace is for the Houthis to abide by UN Security Resolution 2216, requiring them to hand in their arms and withdraw from seized territory.

Tuesday, July 26 Saudi jets launched airstrikes today against the Houthis after rebel forces crossed the Saudi border on Monday and killed five border guards. Al-Arabiya reported that “tens of Houthi” fighters were killed in the subsequent aerial attacks. The Houthi attacks reportedly led to eight hours of clashes between tribesmen and Saudi forces.

Amnesty International is calling on warring parties to allow “full and unfettered access” to organizations providing much-needed aid to Yemenis suffering from a lack of food, fuel, and medical treatment. Some areas that are in the most desperate need of aid are unable to receive supplies, due to both Houthi restrictions and the Saudi-led coalition’s refusal to coordinate with aid groups.

“Humanitarian organizations are already struggling to cope with destroyed infrastructure and dangerous working conditions, and it is absurd that the delivery of aid is hinging on the coalition’s ad-hoc rules – people’s lives are on the line,” said Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International.

Pro-government forces captured the village of al-Sarari from the Houthis after intense fighting for three days. Following the clashes, Houthi outlets claimed that pro-government fighters were committing war crimes by killing and arresting dozens of civilians and destroying the mosque of Sheikh Jamal ad-Deen. Many of these claims appear to be unsubstantiated.

Wednesday, July 27 The lives of 4,400 Yemenis with renal failure are at risk due to a lack of medical supplies. Patients need three dialysis sessions per week, but these has been reduced to two for many patients because of the scarcity of supplies. Medecins Sans Frontieres is calling on international organizations to provide Yemen’s dialysis centers with the critical supplies that could save these patients’ lives.

“There are treatment facilities in the country and there are adequate numbers of trained staff,” says William Turner, MSF head of mission in Yemen. “The imperative now is for these centres to receive regular medical supplies so they can continue to provide reliable lifesaving treatment. The war has crippled the health system’s financial ability to import the necessary supplies, making the need for external support of the highest priority.”

Thursday, July 28 The UN is calling for a humanitarian truce in Ta’iz to allow aid to be delivered and for those wounded to be evacuated. The call comes following heavy fighting in the province.

“It is unacceptable to hold civilian populations hostage and deprived of humanitarian assistance in pursuit of political and military gains. All parties who violate international humanitarian law must remember that they could be held to account,” says Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen.

The Houthis and Saleh announced that they will establish a governing council to run Yemen, claiming that the deal would be open to all sides, allowing rival parties to “join this national agreement actively.” Hadi and UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed are condemning the move as destructive to peace talks and in violation of UN resolution 2216, which requires the Houthis "to refrain from further unilateral actions that could undermine the political transition in Yemen.” Saba News reports that the Houthi spokesman says the new agreement will have no impact on the Kuwait talks.

According to a statement released by the Houthis, the new council would entail a rotating leadership including a president and a deputy from each ally and manage state affairs on the basis of the existing constitution.

Friday, July 29 Saudi Arabia denies accusations by humanitarian groups that the coalition is blocking aid access to Yemenis.

"The coalition is not imposing a siege or an economic boycott on Yemeni territory," the coalition said in a statement in SPA state news agency, adding that it "is fulfilling its duties towards implementing UN resolutions that aim to prevent weapons and ammunitions" from reaching Yemen.

UK Chancellor and former foreign secretary Philip Hammond is now facing calls for a Commons motion of contempt after issuing a statement claiming that the Saudi-led coalition was been shown to be in compliance with international humanitarian law in Yemen. His answers, and those of other MPs, were shown to be false as no proper assessment of the coalition’s actions had been conducted.

Saturday, July 30 There were reports that Hadi’s government withdrew from the Kuwait talks in response to plans by the Houthis and former president Saleh to form a coalition administration, which was seen as an attempt to legitimize Houthi rule. Spokesperson for UN chief Ban Ki-moon said this decision by the Houthis “was not in line with the peace process and endangered the substantial progress made during the Kuwait talks."

An important piece in the New York Times describes what happens to those imprisoned in Guantanamo for years without trial or charge. Many of them have no affiliation with militant groups, yet some remain in custody for over a decade only to one day be transferred to a country completely foreign to them to rebuild their lives.

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed proposed an extension to the peace talks after Hadi’s government threatened to withdraw. Kuwait announced the week before that the delegations had two weeks to reach a deal before Kuwait would no longer host them. Al Arabiya English reported that the warring parties may reconvene in Oman.

Sunday, July 31 Hadi’s delegation reportedly accepted a UN peace deal largely based on their government's original demands--requiring the Houthis to withdraw from seized territories and hand in their weapons. The Houthis rejected the agreement, demanding that a unity government be formed first. The peace deal stipulates that a political dialogue between the parties would only take place 45 days after the Houthis give up their weapons and territory.

July 18-24: Kuwait issues ultimatum for talks, UK retracts statements on Saudi crimes

Monday, July 18Two car bombs struck military checkpoints in the southern port city of Mukalla, killing between five and ten people and wounding many more. The attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda.

On the second day of peace talks following a break for Eid, UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed met separately with warring sides. On Sunday, President Hadi warned that his government would boycott the talks if Ould Cheikh Ahmed insisted on a roadmap stipulating a unity government that included the Houthis.

A Huffington Post article by Rasha Jarhum sheds light on the underrepresentation of women in Yemen’s peace talks, and the effect this imbalance will have on the country’s future. There are only three women among the 26 negotiators at the talks despite an agreement at the NDC that women should make up at least 30% of negotiators. Because of their poor representation at talks, issues such as the protection of women and children in conflict and reparations for affected communities are not receiving proper attention.

Tuesday, July 19 The deterioration of Yemen’s economy is noticeably impacting daily life, as locals are frequently unable to afford basic goods such as food and fuel. The prices of these goods fluctuate and are dependent on the dropping value of the rial. Foreign importers have been unable to obtain the loans necessary to deliver food to Yemen, forcing the prices of staples like grain and wheat to surge. Meanwhile, health clinics have been unable to operate as medical supplies are unobtainable and foreign healthcare workers are fleeing the country.

Wednesday, July 20 Muftah published a series of articles on the problematic media landscape in Yemen, illustrating how the war has distorted or hindered reporting on the ground. Various journalists and academics specializing in Yemen collaborated on these pieces as part of a conference held by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s Regional Office, Gulf States, in May.

An explosion in central Aden killed four soldiers and wounded six others in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. Security officials and other witnesses said the blast was set off by a suicide bomber detonating an explosive vest.

Yemen's Central Bank Governor Mohammed bin Hammam said a second round of transfers of bank funds abroad to facilitate imports would take place in the coming days. The first batch of transfers came earlier this year. The civil war has left importers unable to buy food stocks as over $200 million is stuck in banks.

Thursday, July 21 Kuwait issued an ultimatum to Yemen’s negotiating parties, saying that an agreement must be reached within the next 15 days or the delegations will need to leave the country.

“We have given 15 days for Yemeni sides taking part in the talks to resolve all the issues,” Kuwait’s deputy foreign minister Khalid al-Jarallah told Al Arabiya.

“If matters are not resolved within the 15 days, we have hosted them enough and consequently our brothers have to excuse us if we cannot continue hosting,” said al-Jarallah.

Friday, July 22 An analysis by Stratfor weighs the possible outcomes of the next, and ostensibly last, two weeks of negotiations. It seems unlikely that an agreement will be reached soon, as it would require both sides to make concessions. However, even if they do manage to strike a deal, that is no guarantee that militant factions on the ground would adhere to their decision.

“The actions of Houthi forces on the ground indicate that their leaders likely believe the talks will amount to nothing. A Houthi spokesperson issued an ultimatum July 19: Houthi border offensives will continue until Saudi airstrikes halt. And indeed, cross-border shelling by militants into Saudi Arabia's southern districts, including Jizan, have increased.”

The Wall Street Journal reports on the Saudi perspective on the war in Yemen. The piece quotes prominent Saudi commentator Jamal Khashoggi, who explains that Saudi Arabia is not under any significant domestic or military pressure to end the conflict, even though the coalition has so far failed to accomplish its goal of pushing the Houthis out of San’a.

“Yes, the war is expensive, but we should finish it well. If we stop it without getting San’a and disarming the Houthis, it will be a historical and military catastrophe,” warned Ibrahim al Marie, a retired Saudi colonel and a political strategist and commentator. “It would be a problem for the confidence between the government and the people, and the decision makers in the kingdom know this very well.”

The UK’s Foreign Office has been forced to retract statements to parliament which said ministers had assessed that Saudi Arabia was not in breach of international humanitarian law in Yemen.

The Foreign Office claimed that the incorrect statements, made by three different ministers, were errors and did not represent an attempt to mislead. The UK government is facing a court case arguing that it should ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

A car bomb exploded outside the Houthi-run Bilal mosque in San’a as worshippers were finishing prayers. No casualties were reported and no group has claimed responsibility.

Gulf News reports that an outbreak of dengue fever in Shabwa province has killed 27 people and infected approximately 3,000 others. Officials warn that the disease is spreading due to a lack of drugs and insecticide.

Saturday, July 23 Hadi’s government-in-exile says it will leave talks in Kuwait by early August with or without a deal. Yemen’s foreign affairs minister Abdul Malik Al-Mikhlafi added, “This is a last chance for peace. If [the Houthis and Saleh] waste it thinking that they can come to Kuwait to manoeuvre and waste time then they’re deluded.”

Sunday, July 24 General Mansour Al-Hasani told Okaz news that there has been an increased siege by Houthi forces on Ta’iz, blocking off all roads into the city and preventing anyone from entering to deliver food or aid.

July 11-17: Peace talks resume despite Hadi's threats to boycott

Monday, July 11The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies released a report outlining the accomplishments and setbacks of the UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait. Although progress at the talks has been slow, some important steps have been taken to end hostilities including prisoner exchanges, the facilitation of commercial imports, and working towards building confidence between the warring sides.

The report was released while the parties to the talks were on break for Eid al-Fitr. The negotiations resumed on Saturday, but were preceded with threats by Hadi’s government to boycott the talks due to a lack of progress.

A report by Human Rights Watch documents seventeen airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition on factories, warehouses, and other civilian economic infrastructures. The strikes, which killed 130 civilians, injured many more, and left hundreds unemployed, likely amount to war crimes. Human Rights Watch is calling for the removal of Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council and demands that the coalition agree to an independent international inquiry into these and other unlawful attacks.

Tuesday, July 12 Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi said that Hadi’s government will not return to negotiations with the Houthi delegation without “guarantees,” a timetable, and an acceptance of Hadi’s “legitimacy” as president.

Wednesday, July 13 The Guardian’s Owen Jones speaks to Yemeni refugees about the horrors they faced during the war, and questions Sir Alan Duncan, the UK's envoy to Yemen, about the UK's relationship with Saudi Arabia, including banned cluster bombs produced in the UK that have been found to be used by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

UN Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed arrived in San’a to meet with Houthi and Saleh representatives in preparation for the resumption of talks in Kuwait following a two-week hiatus. Forty-four people were reportedly killed in clashes and airstrikes in the 24 hours leading up to the envoy’s visit.

The Popular Resistance in Ta’iz is seeking donations from the public to pay the salaries of their fighters who are battling the Houthis.

The Popular Resistance controls central Ta’iz as well as some rural areas but the Houthis still maintain control over the main entrances of the city and have imposed a crippling siege on it since last August.

One volunteer with the resistance who has been going door-to-door to collect donations told Middle East Eye that "It has become clear that the Yemeni government and the coalition countries have betrayed Ta’iz, so residents have to support the Resistance fighters, who are fighting for the sake of Ta’iz to protect our province from the invaders who came from Saada," referring to the Houthis.

Thursday, July 14 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked Saudi Arabia to provide information on actions the coalition is taking to prevent the killing and wounding of children in Yemen. Riyadh said it was conducting its military operations with "great care,” but last month’s UN report on children in conflict accused Saudi Arabia of being the group responsible for the most child deaths in Yemen. The kingdom was quickly removed from the list due to threats by Saudi officials to withdraw funding from UN-sponsored aid programs.

Many Yemenis are facing famine due to a shortage of food imports. Western banks have cut credit lines for traders importing food to Yemen out of fear that their loans will go unpaid because of Yemen’s fragile economic state. Approximately $260 million of funds are frozen due to civil war disruption.

Houthi delegates traveled to Kuwait to resume talks after a two week break for Eid al-Fitr. Al-Arabiya reports that the talks between the two sides will resume on Saturday, but Hadi’s government has threatened to boycott the talks if there are no “guarantees” or a timetable. His government demands that UN resolution 2216, which requires the Houthis to give up arms and withdraw from seized territory, be implemented before a government is formed. The Houthis are demanding a share of power in a new government, but Hadi recently said during his trip to Marib 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.

Friday, July 15 According to US Army General Joseph Votel, who oversees the small group of American troops in Yemen, the US is contemplating increased military presence in the country to fight al-Qaeda. The few American troops currently in Yemen provided intelligence to the coalition, particularly the UAE, to help push AQAP out of Mukalla earlier this year.

"If we can continue to better understand what al-Qaeda's doing, regain the situational awareness that we lost when we all had to depart Yemen here some time ago, that's what I'm interested in doing," Votel said.

Despite years of US drone strikes on al-Qaeda members and leaders in Yemen, the group has managed to thrive, gaining territory and earning tens of millions of dollars by taking advantage of the security vacuum created by the ongoing war.

A suicide car bomb in Aden’s Inmaa district targeted the convoy of Governor Aidrus al-Zubaydi and police chief Shalal Ali Shayae. Both escaped unharmed. Zubaydi and Shayae have survived a number of previous assassination attempts.

Medecins Sans Frontieres reports that civilians are dying even in non-combat zones in Yemen due to the country’s crumbling health system and lack of medical supplies. Before the war erupted in March 2015, Yemen relied heavily on imported medical supplies and foreign doctors, many of whom have now fled. Yemenis who suffer from treatable conditions such as asthma, hypertension, and diabetes may die from lack of care.

Saturday, July 16 Peace talks resumed in Kuwait despite earlier threats by Hadi’s government to boycott the negotiations. UN Envoy Ould Cheikh Ahmed told the warring parties that, ““The time has come for you to take definitive decisions that demonstrate to the Yemeni people the sincerity of your intentions and your national obligations.” The envoy noted that the negotiations will continue for two weeks and will be centered around Security Resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative, and the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference.

Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for Friday’s car bombing that unsuccessfully targeted Aden’s governor and police chief.

July 4-10: AQAP storms Aden base, Hadi makes brief visit to Marib

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.”