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.



Hasan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, strengthened his rhetorical support for the Houthis, announcing in his June 29th speech that he wished to be with those fighting on the west coast [AR]. The Iraqi al-Shuhada Brigade has offered to send fighters to the west coast, as well[AR]. Observers say that a small number of Hezbollah advisors are working with the Houthis in San’a and Hudaydah.

March 27-April 3: US considers expanded military role in Middle East, UN special envoy calls for political solution in Yemen

Monday, March 27, 2017

The US is in the process of weighing a greater military role in Yemen through direct support for the Saudi-led coalition, Reuters says. This appears to be a response to evidence of greater Iranian military support for the Houthi-Saleh alliance.

At least 11 people were killed in a suicide bombing in al-Houta, Lahj province, according to Reuters. The attack is suspected to have been carried out by al-Qaeda militants.

Reuters also reports that rates of child marriage have significantly increased since the beginning of the war in Yemen, according to UNICEF. Over two thirds of Yemeni girls are now married before the age of 18, as opposed to half of girls before the conflict. This large increase is primarily due to families’ inability to feed their children as famine looms closer in the country.

March 14-19: Somalia calls for investigation, tensions grow within coalition

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

President Trump met with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman today for talks that are likely to focus partially on limiting Iranian influence in the region, says the Guardian.

The UN envoy to Yemen stated that the Saud-led coalition backing President Hadi and the Houthi-Saleh alliance both refuse to discuss peace efforts in the face of the escalating violence in the country.

Mafraj Radio #22: A conflict retrospective

On this episode we revisit three of the most important interviews we've broadcast since the beginning of Yemen's internationalized armed conflict in March of this year: Nadwa al-Dawsari on the conflict in Marib, Alex Potter on Yemeni refugees and life during wartime in San‘a, and Professor Muneer Ahmed on the conflict's impact on al-Hudaydah and the Tihamah. 

July 14–20: Resistance consolidates gains in Aden

Editor's note: I'm filling in for Mohammed Ali Kalfood on this week's press review. Mohammed will return next week. Since launching a major counteroffensive against pro-Houthi/Saleh forces last week, resistance forces in Aden have swept down from the city's northern areas into the districts of Sirah/Crater, al-Ma'ala, and al-Tawahi. As of Monday evening, local sources report that the resistance has control of al-Tawahi--the last district held by Houthi/Saleh forces--and is conducting house-to-house searches for remaining enemy fighters. 

In retaliation for the loss of Aden, Houthi/Saleh forces outside the city limits have been shelling the neighborhood of Dar Sa'd since Sunday. According to Medicins Sans Frontieres, at least 100 people--mostly civilians, including women and children--have died in the bombardment, with hundreds more injured.

The transportation minister of Yemen's government in exile told press on Monday that a technical team from the UAE had arrived in Aden to repair the city's international airport. Right now San'a has the only functioning airport in the country, making it impossible for aid groups to bring supplies into the south by air.

On Thursday, a group of ministers from the exiled government of President Hadi arrived in Aden, escorted by Saudi security forces. The ministers reportedly met with resistance leaders. Following those meetings, President Hadi announced the appointment of Aden's new governor, former deputy governor Nayef al-Bakri, who recently has served as the head of a body representing several resistance groups.

On Sunday, a Saudi airstrike killed 24 civilians in Ibb, and set off secondary explosions that wounded many more.

The UN's refugee agency reported last week that more than 10,000 refugees have arrived in Yemen from east Africa since March. Smugglers are apparently telling refugees that the war in Yemen is over in order to profit from their transport. According to UNHCR, the total number of Yemenis displaced inside the country or seeking refuge abroad is now 1,267,590.