The Intercept reported that the Trump administration made its argument in favor of an arms sale of over $500 million to Saudi Arabia in a top-secret briefing organized by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Yemen Peace Project Advocacy Director Kate Kizer said of the meeting, “It’s really unfortunate that Senate majority leadership decided to hold this briefing in secret. Americans deserve to know the conduct of our allies, especially when the U.S. is intimately involved in starving potentially millions of Yemeni civilians by continuing to provide unconditional support to the Saudi-led coalition.”
Adam Baron of the European Council on Foreign Relations writes about the state of affairs in southern Yemen, and listed three actions that European governments can take to help stabilize Yemen. The first is reaching out to the secessionists in the south of Yemen, and recognizing them as key players in the conflict. The second is to bolster law and order in the city of Aden.Finally, Europe should increase coordination with the Gulf States on both stabilization and mediation efforts.
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.
PRI’s Stephen Snyder reports on Yemen’s current cholera outbreak, noting that the spread of the disease has been exacerbated by Saudi airstrikes on hospitals and blockades that block the flow of medical supplies into the country. The report also emphasizes that the disease is preventable and treatable, but that the destruction of civilian infrastructure and unpaid government salaries have made preventing and addressing outbreaks more difficult .
Reuters reports that Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has said that the offensive on Hudaydah that Saudi Arabia wants to launch would have heavy casualties for both Saudi-backed forces and their Houthi adversaries. The Washington Post, meanwhile, discusses the concern among U.S. lawmakers over the possibility of an attack on the port city.
AP focuses on statements by Prince Mohammed bin Salman dismissing the possibility of dialogue with Iran as unrealistic and stating that Saudi Arabia would not wait “until there becomes a battle in Saudi Arabia, so we will work so that it becomes a battle for them in Iran….”
UNICEF published a press release today urging the international community to donate to UN efforts to combat the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. The UN held a pledging drive today in Geneva to raise funding for humanitarian aid in the country. The drive raised a total of $1.1 billion, approximately half of the UN’s 2017 emergency response budget. The United States announced that it would provide an additional $94 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen.
The United Nations, joined now by Russia as well, continues to warn the Saudi-led coalition against attacking the Port of Hudaydah. Amnesty International also released an article emphasizing the risk to civilian lives that such an offensive would carry. The UNHCR says that it is preparing for the potential displacement of an additional half a million people if the fighting in Hudaydah intensifies.
According to the Emirates News Agency, the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) will provide 53 Yemenis affected by the war with medical treatment at hospitals in India.
Gulf News reports that Yemeni government forces have gained control of a military base north of al-Mokha. Houthi-Saleh forces had used the base to launch missile attacks against coalition forces along the coast.
An article from AP focuses on the work of Fadia Najib Thabet, a student in Vermont who recently received the Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award for her work as a child protection officer in southern Yemen.
The UN said today that the risk of mass starvation is quickly growing in Yemen, as well as in South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria.
Norwegian Refugee Council’s press release today calls Yemen an “extreme situation for women,” emphasizing the importance of focusing on women’s issues and rights as women have been increasingly politically marginalized since the start of the war.