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Saudi Arabia-led intervention in Yemen (2015–present)
Part of the Yemeni Civil War (2015)
and the Yemeni Crisis
Air strike in Sana'a 11-5-2015
An airstrike in Sana'a on 11 May 2015

Yemen war detailed map

The military situation in Yemen, as of 16 August 2015:
  Controlled by Houthis
  Controlled by Hadi loyalists
  Controlled by AQAP/Ansar al-Sharia forces
(See also a detailed map)
Date 25 March 2015 – present
(4 years, 7 months and 2 weeks)
  • Operation Decisive Storm
    25 March 2015 – 21 April 2015
    (3 weeks and 6 days)
  • Operation Restoring Hope
    22 April 2015 – present
    (4 years, 6 months, 3 weeks and 4 days)
Location Yemen
Status
  • Saudi-led coalition claimed to have achieved its military goals[1]
  • Saudi-led coalition captured back Aden, Lahj, Taiz, Ibb, Zinjibar and Yarim [2]
  • Saudi success to completely destroy the Houthi rebels in the south of Yemen[2]
  • Saudi success to restore the government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi[3]
  • Saudi-led coalition announced an end to the airstrike campaign and the beginning of an operation aimed at a political solution;[4] however, air-strikes and naval blockade continue[5][6]
  • Saudi Arabia proposes a 5-day ceasefire, days after its southern regions were raided and attacked by the Houthi rebels[7][when?]
Belligerents
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Saudi Arabia[8][9] (coalition spearhead)

Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg UAE[10]
Flag of Bahrain.svg Bahrain[10]
Flag of Kuwait.svg Kuwait[10]
Flag of Qatar.svg Qatar[10]
Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt
(ground troops ruled out)[10][11][12]
Flag of Jordan.svg Jordan[10]
Flag of Morocco.svg Morocco[10]
Flag of Senegal.svg Senegal
(ground troops only)[13]
Flag of Sudan.svg Sudan[10]
Supported by:
Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan
(naval blockade only; ground troops ruled out)[14]
Flag of Somalia.svg Somalia
(non-combat)[15]
United States (intelligence, weapons, and blockade)[16]

In support of:
Yemen Yemen
(Hadi government)

Yemen Yemen
(Revolutionary Committee)

Iran Iran (alleged)

Commanders and leaders
Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud
Saudi Arabia Ahmed Al Asiri
Saudi Arabia Muhammad Al Shaalan [17][18]
United Arab Emirates Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Sudan Omar al-Bashir
Jordan Abdullah II
Morocco Mohamed VI
Senegal Macky Sall

Yemen Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi

Yemen Mohammed Ali al-Houthi
Houthis Logo.png Abdul-Malik al-Houthi
Yemeni Republican Guard Flag.svg Ali Abdullah Saleh
Yemeni Republican Guard Flag.svg Ahmed Ali Saleh
(son of Ali Abdullah Saleh)[19]
Strength
Saudi Arabia 100 warplanes and 150,000 troops [20]
United Arab Emirates 30 warplanes[21]
Bahrain 15 warplanes[21]
Kuwait 15 warplanes[21]
Qatar 10 warplanes[21]
Egypt 4 warships[22] and
an unknown number of warplanes[23]
Jordan 6 warplanes[21]
Morocco 6 warplanes[21]
Senegal 2,100 troops[13]
Sudan 4 warplanes and 6,000 troops [24][25]
Houthis Logo.png 100,000 fighters (claim)[26]
Yemeni Armed Forces Emblem.svg Unknown number of soldiers
Casualties and losses
Saudi Arabia 32–35 soldiers killed;[27]
1 F-15S lost (non-combat);[28]
1 AH-64 Apache damaged[29]

United Arab Emirates 7 soldiers killed (2 non-combat)[30]
Morocco 1 pilot killed;
1 F-16 lost[31][32]


Yemen 82 soldiers killed and 240 wounded
(Friendly Fire)[33][34][35]

261 killed[36][37][38]
(as per the Yemeni Revolutionary Committee)
Hundreds of Yemeni civilian deaths from airstrikes (see here)
15–18 Saudi civilians killed (as per Saudi Arabia)[27][39]


Saudi Arabia, spearheading a coalition of nine Arab states, began carrying out airstrikes in neighbouring Yemen on 26 March 2015, heralding the start of a military intervention codenamed Operation Decisive Storm[21] (Arabic language:عملية عاصفة الحزم`Amaliyyat `Āṣifat al-Ḥazm). The intervention began in response to requests for assistance from the internationally recognized but domestically contested Yemeni government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The request was due to a Houthi offensive aimed at its provisional capital of Aden. President Hadi fled Aden,[40] left the country and went to Saudi Arabia as Saudi Arabia and its allies launched airstrikes in Yemen against the Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.[41]

Fighter jets from Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain are also taking part in the operation. Somalia has made its airspace, territorial waters and military bases available for the coalition to use.[15] The United States has provided intelligence and logistical support, including search-and-rescue for downed coalition pilots.[16] It also accelerated the sale of weapons to coalition states.[42] Additionally, Pakistan was called on by Saudi Arabia to join the coalition, but its parliament voted to maintain neutrality.[43] Despite this, Pakistan agreed to provide warships to help the coalition enforce the naval blockade.[14]

Being described as a "humanitarian disaster" and a "catastrophe", the imposed aerial and naval blockade has left 78% (20 million) of the Yemeni population in urgent need of food, water, and medical aid. Small number of aid ships are allowed, but the bulk of commercial shipping, on which the poor country relies, are blocked.[44] In one occasion, the coalition jets prevented what Iranian claimed to be Iranian Red Crescent plane to land by bombing the Sana'a International Airport's runway, effectively blocking aerial aid deliveries to the capital city.[45] As of 28 April, 300,000 people have been displaced by the fighting.[46] Many countries, such as China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, and India[47] have evacuated or plan to evacuate foreign citizens.[48] Many groups have begun to flee Yemen for nearby Somalia and Djibouti.[49]

On 21 April 2015, Saudi Arabia announced an end to Operation Decisive Storm, saying the intervention's focus would "shift from military operations to the political process".[50][51][52] The kingdom and its coalition partners said they would be launching political and peace efforts, which they called Operation Restoring Hope (Arabic language:عملية إعادة الأمل`Amaliyyat 'I`ādat al-'Amal). However, the coalition did not rule out using force, saying it would respond to threats and prevent Houthi militants from operating within Yemen.[52] Airstrikes and shelling continued under Restoring Hope, including aerial attacks destroying the main runway at Sana'a International Airport[53][54] and several buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Sana'a Old City.

BackgroundEdit

Yemen ethno 2002

Ethnoreligious groups in 2002. Zaydi Shi'a followers make up between 35% and 42.1% of Muslims in Yemen.[55][56]

Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, running unopposed for president, won the 2012 Yemeni elections.[57] The Houthis (or Ansar Allah), a Zaidi Shia movement and militant group thought to be backed by Iran, took control of the Yemeni government through a series of steps in 2014 and 2015, which Saudi Arabia and other countries denounced as an unconstitutional coup d'état.[58]

In military operations on the ground, the Houthis have been supported by sections of the Yemeni armed forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was removed from power as part of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.[59][60] Houthi leaders have claimed[61] Saudi Arabia is trying to break the alliance between the Houthis and Saleh’s supporters; there have also been reports[61] that Saleh’s son had travelled to the Saudi capital to attempt to broker a deal to end the air strikes. Saudi media claim that Saleh or his supporters, namely his son, Ahmed Ali Saleh, have approached Riyadh seeking such a deal.[62]

By September 2014, Houthi fighters captured Sana'a, toppling Hadi's government. Soon after, a peace deal (known as the Peace and Partnership Agreement) was concluded between the Hadi government and the Houthis, but was not honored by either party. The deal was drafted with the intent of outlining a power-sharing agreement in the new government. A conflict over a draft constitution resulted in the Houthis consolidating control over the Yemeni capital in January 2015. After resigning from his post alongside his prime minister and remaining under virtual house arrest for one month, Hadi fled to Aden in southern Yemen in February.[63][64] Upon arriving in Aden, Hadi withdrew his resignation, saying that the actions of the Houthis from September 2014 had amounted to a "coup" against him.[65][66][67] By 25 March, forces answering to Sana'a were rapidly closing in on Aden, which Hadi had declared to be Yemen's temporary capital.[68]

During the Houthis' southern offensive, Saudi Arabia began a military buildup on its border with Yemen.[69] In response, a Houthi commander boasted that his troops would counterattack against any Saudi aggression and would not stop until they had taken Riyadh, the Saudi capital.[70]

On 25 March, Hadi called on the UN Security Council to authorise “willing countries that wish to help Yemen to provide immediate support for the legitimate authority by all means and measures to protect Yemen and deter the Houthi aggression.”[71]

Yemen's foreign minister, Riad Yassin, requested military assistance from the Arab League on 25 March, amid reports that Hadi had fled his provisional capital.[72][73] On 26 March, Saudi state TV station Al-Ekhbariya TV reported that Hadi arrived at a Riyadh airbase and was met by Saudi Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud. His route from Aden to Riyadh was not immediately known.[74]

At a summit of the Arab League held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on 28–29 March, President Hadi again repeated his calls for international intervention in the fighting in Yemen. A number of League members pledged their support to Hadi's government in Yemen during that meeting. [75][76]

Sunni-Shia divideEdit

Over 42% of Yemenis are followers of the Zaidi school of Shia Islam, with another 1.5% following other Shia schools.[56] The Zaidi Shia Houthis' strength and influence were amplified after forming an alliance with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who helped enlist important segments of the country's military to fight against pro-Hadi coalition forces.[77][78]

Operation Decisive StormEdit

According to the Saudi news outlet Al Arabiya, Saudi Arabia is contributing 100 warplanes and 150,000 soldiers to the military operation in Yemen. Reuters indicates that planes from Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain are also taking part in the operation.

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The UAE contributed 30 fighter jets, Kuwait sent 15 (understood to be three squadrons of F/A-18 Hornet aircraft),[79] Bahrain sent 15, Qatar 10, Jordan and Morocco six each, and Sudan four.[21][25][80]

The operation was declared over on 21 April 2015.[81][82][83]

Air campaignEdit

March 2015Edit

In a joint statement, the member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (with the exception of Oman) said they decided to intervene against the Houthis in Yemen at the request of Hadi's government.[84]

The Saudi-led coalition declared Yemeni airspace to be a restricted area, with King Salman declaring the RSAF to be in full control of the zone.[21] Saudi Arabia began airstrikes, reportedly relying on United States intelligence reports and surveillance images to select and hit targets, including weapons and aircraft on the ground.[85] Al Arabiya said the first round of strikes targeted the military airbase at Sana'a International Airport and destroyed much of Yemen's air defences.[21] According to Saudi officials, the strikes also destroyed a number of Yemeni warplanes on the ground.[12] Al Jazeera reported that Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a Houthi commander appointed in February as president of the Revolutionary Committee, was injured and three other Houthi commanders were killed by airstrikes in Sana'a.[86]

According to rescue workers, 13 civilians were killed in a residential neighborhood near Al-Dulaimi Airbase after Saudi airstrikes destroyed seven homes.[87][88] Houthi-controlled al-Masirah TV quoted the health ministry as declaring the death toll to be 18.[88]

Saudi strikes on 26 March also hit Al Anad Air Base, a former U.S. special operations forces facility in Lahij Governorate seized by Houthis earlier in the week.[89] The targets reportedly also included the missile base in Sana'a controlled by the Houthis and the fuel depot at the base.[10] Strikes overnight also targeted Houthis in Taiz and Sa'dah. Thousands demonstrated in Sana'a against the intervention, which ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh also condemned while in Taiz, thousands came out supporting Hadi and Saudi Arabia.[90]

The scope of strikes expanded further on 27 March, with a radar installation in the Ma'rib Governorate and an airbase in the Abyan Governorate coming under air attack. The commander of the Saudi-led operation dismissed reports of civilian casualties, saying airstrikes were being carried out with precision.[91]

Additional strikes early in the morning on 28 March hit targets in Al Hudaydah, Sa'dah, and the Sana'a area, as well as Ali Abdullah Saleh's main base. Rumours indicated Saleh fled to Sanhan, on the outskirts of the Houthi-controlled capital.[92] More strikes destroyed part of a Houthi convoy of tanks, armoured vehicles, and trucks heading from Shuqrah toward Aden.[93] An Aden government official said Saudi strikes destroyed a long-range missile facility controlled by the Houthis.[94]

The Houthis claimed to have shot down a Sudanese Air Force plane over northern Sana'a and captured its pilot on 28 March. The Sudanese government denied that any of its four warplanes participating in the operation had come under fire or been shot down.[25] On the previous day, the Houthis claimed to have shot down a "hostile" Saudi drone in Sana'a.[95]

Airstrikes hit an arms depot, military airbase, and special forces headquarters in Sana'a early on 29 March. A weapons depot outside Sana'a was destroyed, causing damage to an airport and planes on the ground. Sa'dah and Al Hudaydah were targeted as well. Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, the coalition's spokesman, said Saudi artillery and Apache attack helicopters were mobilised to "deter" Houthi fighters massing on the border with Saudi Arabia.[96]

On 30 March, at least 40 people including children were killed and 200 were injured[97] by an airstrike that hit Al-Mazraq refugee camp near a military installation in northern district of Haradh, international organizations said. Airstrikes also hit areas near the presidential palace in Sana'a,[98] as well as Aden International Airport.[99]

During an Arab League summit, coalition states obtained permission from the Federal Government of Somalia to use its Berbera and Bosaso military bases to attack the Houthis, as well as the free use of Somali airspace and territorial waters.[100][101]

At least five airstrikes were conducted in support of Hadi loyalists in the Ad Dali' Governorate on 31 March. Strikes were also reported in the northern Sa'dah and Hajjah governorates, with Saudi helicopters being sent across the border.[99]

Food storage of Yemen Economic Corporation in Hodeidah was destroyed by three coalition's strikes on March 31, according to the Houthi-controlled defence ministry.[102]

Airstrikes were not limited to the Yemeni mainland. Missiles struck homes on the island of Perim, according to residents who fled by boat to Djibouti to escape the air campaign.[103]

April 2015Edit

Sana'a after airstrike 20-4-2015 - Widespread destruction- 15

Sana'a after airstrike, April 2015

There were dozens of casualties from an explosion at a dairy and oil factory in Al Hudaydah, which was variously blamed on an airstrike or a rocket from a nearby military base launched shortly after midnight on 1 April. Medical sources reported 25 deaths, while the Yemen Army said 37 were killed and 80 wounded.[104] Airstrikes also hit targets in Sa'dah on 1 April.[105]

In Ad Dali', the pro-Houthi 33rd Brigade of the Yemen Army was hit by repeated airstrikes. Its commander reportedly fled and the brigade disintegrated.[106]

Despite persistent airstrikes, the Houthis and allied units continued to advance on central Aden, backed by tanks and heavy artillery.[107][108] The Houthis seized the presidential palace on 2 April, but reportedly withdrew after overnight air raids early the next day.[109] Coalition planes also airdropped weapons and medical aid to pro-Hadi fighters in Aden.[110]

A family of nine was killed and other civilians wounded by an airstrike on Okash village near Sana'a on 4 April, residents said.[111]

The International Committee of the Red Cross announced on 5 April that it had received permission from the coalition to fly medical supplies and aid workers into Sana'a and was awaiting permission to send a surgical team by boat to Aden. The coalition said it has set up a special body to coordinate aid deliveries to Yemen.[112]

On 6 April, airstrikes began before sunset and struck targets in western Sana'a, Sa'dah, and the Ad Dali' Governorate, a supply route for Houthis in the Battle of Aden.[113]

Airstrikes on 7 April hit a Republican Guard base in the Ibb Governorate, injuring 25 troops. Yemeni sources claimed three children at a nearby school were also killed by the attack[114] and six were injured.[115]

The coalition hit arms depots in northern Aden on 8 April, causing three large explosions, according to residents.[116]

The Parliament of Pakistan voted against military action on 10 April, despite a request from Saudi Arabia that it join the coalition.[117]

Sana'a after airstrike 20-4-2015 - destruction (34734594)

Shopping center destroyed by a strike in Sanaa on 20 April

Airstrikes launched on 12 April, against the base of the 22nd Brigade of the Yemeni Republican Guard in the Taiz Governorate struck both the brigade and a nearby village inhabited by members of the Al-Akhdam minority community, killing eight civilians and injuring more than ten others.[118] On 17 April, both the GCC coalition's spokesman called by Saudi broadcaster Al-Ehkbariya TV and a commander of the pro-Hadi rebels on the ground in Yemen said air strikes had intensified, focusing on both Sana'a and Taiz, Yemen's third city.[119] One strike on the Republican Palace in Taiz killed 19 pro-Houthi gunmen.[120]

A combination of airstrikes and ground fighting in Daleh reportedly killed 17 Houthis and six separatist fighters on 19 April.[121] Airstrikes targeted a weapons depot in Sana'a on 20 April, but they reportedly missed their mark. A Scud missile base in the Faj Attan district was hit. At least 46 were killed and hundreds more injured in the strikes on the capital, with a Yemeni television presenter among the dead.[122]

Naval roleEdit

Egypt and Saudi Arabia were quick to commit warships to support the coalition's operations.[123] Somalia also offered the Saudi-led coalition the use of its airspace and territorial waters.[15]

Four Egyptian Navy vessels crossed the Suez Canal and steamed toward the Gulf of Aden after operations began. They were expected to reach the Red Sea late on 26 March.[89] Saudi Arabia officially requested access from the Somali government to use its airspace and waters to carry out operations against the Houthi rebels.[124] On 27 March, the Egyptian military said a squadron of Egyptian and Saudi warships took up positions at the Bab al-Mandab strait.[91] The Saudi military threatened to destroy any ship attempting to make port in Yemen.[125]

Two Saudi F-15S pilots were rescued by a United States Air Force Pararescue unit from Camp Lemonnier on 27 March, after a mechanical issue forced them to bail out in the Gulf of Aden just south of Yemen.[126]

The Royal Saudi Navy evacuated diplomats and United Nations staff from Aden to Jeddah on 28 March.[93]

Witnesses told Reuters that Egyptian warships bombarded Houthi positions as they attempted to advance on Aden on 30 March.[127] Warships again fired on Houthi positions at Aden International Airport on or about 1 April.[105]

Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, the foreign minister of Djibouti, said the Houthis placed heavy weapons and fast attack boats on Perim and a smaller island in the Bab al-Mandab strait. He warned that "the prospect of a war in the strait of Bab al-Mandab is a real one" and said the weapons posed "a big danger" to his country, commercial shipping traffic, and military vessels. He called on the coalition to clear the islands of the Houthi weaponry, which he said included missiles and long-range cannons.[128]

On 4 April, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called protecting Red Sea shipping and securing the Bab al-Mandab "a top priority for Egypt's national security".[129]

On 15 April, the spokesman for the coalition, Saudi Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Asiri, said in comments carried on Al-Ekhbariya TV and reported by the Saudi state news agency, SPA, that the coalition’s warships were focussing on protecting shipping routes and screening ships heading to port in Yemen for shipments of provisions intended for the Houthis.[130][unreliable source?]

The United States Navy has provided support to the naval blockade, halting and searching vessels suspected of carrying Iranian arms to the Houthis.[131] Pakistan said it would dispatch warships to enforce the arms embargo as well.[14]

On 21 April, the United States announced it was deploying warships to Yemeni waters to monitor Iranian ships.[132] The US in particular noted a convoy of Iranian vessels, which US authorities said could potentially be carrying weapons to Houthi fighters in contravention of UN sanctions.[133] The US reported that the Iranian convoy had reversed course on 23 April.[134] Iranian Navy 34th fleet commander dismissed Pentagon's claims and called the reports "media ballyhoo", saying that his warships, Alborz frigate and Bushehr helicopter-carrier, were conducting their regular anti-piracy patrol in Gulf of Aden and high seas.[135]

Ground clashesEdit

Saudi Arabia and Egypt have stated their readiness to participate in a ground campaign in Yemen.[136] Sudan has also said it is stationing ground troops in Saudi Arabia to contribute to the intervention.[137]

On 31 March, Saudi and Houthi forces reportedly traded artillery and rocket fire across the border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen.[99][138] A Saudi border guard was killed on 2 April, the first confirmed coalition casualty of the campaign.[139] A civilian Egyptian truck driver reportedly suffered critical injuries from Houthi artillery shelling at the border on the same day. He later died in a Yemeni hospital under the control of the Houthis.[140]

Saudi Arabia reportedly began removing sections of the Saudi–Yemen barrier fence along its border with the Sa'dah and Hajjah governorates of Yemen on 3 April. The purpose of the removal was not immediately clear.[141]

Two more Saudi border guards were killed on 3 April in the 'Asir Region, according to the Saudi Interior Ministry.[142] The same day, an Egyptian truck driver was killed by Houthi shelling at the Yemeni-Saudi border.[143] Also, an airstrike killed a family of nine in a village near the capital, Sanaa. The family consisted of two men, a woman and six children.[144]

On 12 April, members of the Takhya tribe launched an attack on a Saudi military base after several of its members died in an airstrike. Exact number of Saudi casualties cannot be confirmed but large amounts of weapons and ammunition were taken.[145][146][147][148]

On 19 April, as Houthi leader Abdul-Malek El-Houthi accused Saudi Arabia of planning an invasion of Yemen,[149] Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, the spokesman for the coalition, claimed that coalition forces had information regarding a planned Houthi incursion into Saudi Arabia and were working to prevent it.[150] On the same day, a Yemeni military commander in control of some 15,000 troops pledged his support for Hadi. His troops control an area spanning about half of the border with Saudi Arabia.[149] It was the second time in a week news had emerged of Yemeni troops defecting to Hadi's side, after five brigades switched their allegiances on 15 April.[151]

A Saudi border guard died on 19 April and two others were injured from gunfire and mortar shelling across the border, according to the Saudi Interior Ministry.[152]

Operation Restoring HopeEdit

On 21 April, the Saudi Defence Ministry declared it was ending the campaign of air strikes because it had "successfully eliminated the threat" to its security posed by Houthi ballistic and heavy weaponry.[153] It announced the start of a new phase codenamed Operation Restoring Hope.[154][unreliable source?] In a televised address, Hadi said the end of air strikes had come at his request, thanking the Arab coalition for their support.[155]

However, earlier on the same day King Salman ordered the Saudi National Guard to join military operations in Yemen.[156] Air and naval strikes continued despite the announcement that Decisive Storm had ended.

On 8 May, Saudi Arabia announced a five-day ceasefire in Yemen set to start on 12 May,[157] following heavy pressure from the U.S.[158] Later in the day, Saudi airplanes dropped leaflets in the Saada Governorate warning of airstrikes throughout the area.[159] Houthi spokesman Mohamed al-Bukhaiti later told the BBC that the ceasefire had not been formally proposed and the Houthis would not respond until a plan was properly laid out.[160] A spokesman for the Houthi-aligned military announced agreement to the ceasefire plan on 10 May, although he warned that a breach of the truce would prompt a military response.[161]

On 13 May, humanitarian agencies said they were trying to get aid into Yemen after a five-day ceasefire took effect on Tuesday night. Ships carrying humanitarian supplies docked at the Houthi-controlled Red Sea port of Hudaydah as planes were standing by to help evacuate the injured.[162] Meanwhile, Saudi King Salman doubled his country's Yemen aid pledge to $540 million, funds the UN said would "meet the life-saving and protection needs of 7.5 million people affected."[163]

AirstrikesEdit

Destroyed car in the south of Sanaa 12-6-2015-2

Destroyed car in the south of Sanaa 12-6-2015

On the announcement of Operation Restoring Hope, the coalition's leadership stressed that their campaign would attempt to achieve a political solution to the conflict and that they will continue the air and naval blockade.[164]

However, airstrikes resumed almost immediately following the coalition's announcement of the end of Operation Decisive Storm.[165]

On 22 April, despite the announcements of the previous day, airstrikes against Houthi targets continued in Taiz, where an army base was hit shortly after Houthi fighters took it over,[166] and Aden, where an airstrike targeted Houthi tanks being moved into a previously contested district,[167] among other locations, such as Al Hudaydah and Ibb.[168] The Houthis continued to fight for territory in Yemen,[166] with a Houthi spokesman saying the group would be prepared for peace talks on the condition of "a complete halt of attacks". The previous round of UN-sponsored talks collapsed after Houthi rebels attacked President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi's residence in Sana'a.[169]

By 26 April, coalition forces were striking what they described as Houthi military targets in Sanaa and Aden, as well as in other locations, notably in Saada province near the border with Saudi Arabia, nearly every night.[170][171] On 26 April, after midnight, airstrikes struck Houthi and pro-Saleh positions and targets in and around Sana'a, Aden, and the Ma'rib and Ad Dali' governorates, backing up anti-Houthi fighters in the latter three locations, with more than 90 rebels reportedly killed.[172] Coalition warships shelled fighters near Aden's commercial port. Saudi warplanes also targeted Houthis in the Sa'dah Governorate, while Saudi artillery fired on targets in the Hajjah Governorate along the border.[173] The Saudi Arabian National Guard was also deployed on the border with Yemen.[174]

On 28 April, Sana'a International Airport was bombed[175] by Saudi F-15 fighters to prevent an Iranian plane[176] belonging to Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) from landing, while it was approaching to land. The fighters had warned the plane to turn back, in an unsuccessful attempt to thwart its landing, but the Iranian pilot ignored the "illegal warnings", saying that, on the basis of international laws, his plane did not need further permission from Saudi Arabia to land on the Yemeni airport.[177] The Iranian Captain Behzad Sedaqatnia later fully described the incident in a TV program.[178] All runways, the control tower, and a Bombardier CRJ700 airliner operated by Felix Airways (Al Saeeda) parked on the runway were destroyed. Saudi warplanes also struck the al-Dailami air base in northern Sana’a and destroyed the runway, which is adjacent to the civil airport.[179]

Saudi jets also had prevented two other IRCS planes to enter Yemeni airspace.

Overnight on 29 April and 30 April, Saudi Arabia was reported to have airdropped arms to anti-Houthi fighters in Taiz.[185] Later in the day, the Houthi's announced the death of 1 soldier due to airstrikes on the local police station in Al Bayda, Yemen.[186]

On 30 April, air strikes hit five provinces.[185] Furthermore, new airstrikes hit Sanaa International Airport, completely halting aid deliveries.[187]

Intense airstrikes on the Al Amar area of the As Safra District killed 1 Yemeni soldier and injured 6 others. Source also reported that there were several airstrikes on farms and buildings in the Sahar District.[188][unreliable source?]

In early May, Human Rights Watch accused Saudi Arabia of using cluster munitions in Yemen. The Saudi military acknowledged using CBU-105 bombs, but it claimed they were only employed against armoured vehicles and not in population centers.[189]

Air strike in Sana'a 11 May 2015 01

Air strike in Sana'a 11 May

On 6 May, coalition airstrikes targeted the Police Training Center in the Dhamar Governorate, damaging nearby houses.[190][unreliable source?]

On 8 May, Saudi airstrikes hit Sanaa International Airport a day after the civil aviation authority announced it would re-open the airport to receive aid.[191]

Coalition airstrikes targeted the house of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital Sana'a in the early hours of May 10, eyewitnesses said. Khabar, a Yemeni news agency allied with Saleh said that the former president and his family were unharmed.[192]

The Moroccan government said on 10 May that one of its General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft taking part in the air campaign went missing in action over Yemen, along with its pilot.[193] The Houthis claimed responsibility, with Yemeni state TV broadcasting a report on the jet being downed by tribal militias over the Sa'dah Governorate and showing images of the wreckage.[194]

On 18 May, Saudi-led airstrikes reportedly resumed on Houthi positions in Yemen after a humanitarian ceasefire expired late on Sunday. Three coalition airstrikes hit the group's northern stronghold of Sa'ada on Monday, Houthi-controlled media reported. Yemen's exiled Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin blamed the rebel group for the renewal of hostilities. Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV channel said Saudi forces shelled Houthi outposts along Yemen's northern border after the Iran-allied fighters fired mortars at a Saudi army post in the southern Najran province.[195]

On May 23, the OCHA reported that airstrikes continued in the northern governorates of Sa’ada (Baqim, Haydan, Saqayn and As Safra) and Hajjah (Abs, Hayran, Haradh, Huth, Kuhlan Affar and Sahar districts). The road connecting Haradh and Huth districts was reportedly hit. Airstrikes were also reported in Al Jawf Governorate (Bart Al Anan district).[196]

On May 27, Saudi-led airstrikes hit a police station in the capital Sana'a, killing 45 officers.[197] The Houthi-controlled Ministry of Health announced that in total, 96 people were killed.

On June 3, the residence of a Houthi leader in Ibb province was hit by a Saudi-led airstrike, according to eyewitnesses.[198]

Destroyed house in the south of Sanaa 12-6-2015-1

Destroyed house in the south of Sanaa 12-6-2015

In 12 June, Saudi jets bombed the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sana'a Old City, killing at least six people and destroying some of the ancient buildings. UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said in a statement that she is "profoundly distressed by the loss of human lives as well as by damage inflicted on one of the world’s oldest jewels of Islamic urban landscape". Locals also condemned the action.[199]

Cross-border fightingEdit

On 25 April, the aid group Doctors Without Borders said that the town of Haradh, close to the border with Saudi Arabia, "has been left a ghost town" and that Saudi shelling killed 11 and injured more than 70.[200]

On 26 April, the Saudi government announced via its official news agency that the first National Guard units had arrived in Najran, in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen.[201] The same day, Al-Hamdan tribe attacked Saudi positions in Najran and reported several Saudi casualties with the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry confirming 1 dead and 2 injured. Al-Hamdan tribesmen later retreated due to heavy bombings in the area.[202][203]

On 30 April, One Saudi border guard had also been killed by mortar fire along the border with Yemen.[204] This death brought the total number of Saudi deaths reported by the Kingdom to 11. Later in the day, apparent Houthi forces attacked a Saudi military post in the Najran Region killing 3 soldiers, increasing the death toll to 14.[187]

In early May, the reported arrival of several dozen fighters on the side of anti-Houthi defenders of Aden attracted considerable attention. The force was speculated to be advance ground troops from the Saudi-led coalition, but Hadi's foreign minister said they were Yemeni special forces troops retrained in Gulf Arab countries and redeployed to assist anti-Houthi militants in Aden.[205]

On 4 May, Senegal's foreign minister announced that Senegal would be sending 2,100 troops to join the coalition.[13]

On 5 May, pro-Houthi fighters reportedly captured 5 Saudi soldiers and fired mortar shells at the Saudi city of Najran and several other areas in the Saudi region of Jizan, killing at least 3 people. Yemeni tribal sources stated that only 2 Saudi civilians were killed, while the Saudi Ministry of Interior stated that 3 people were killed in Najran, although it did not clarify if they were civilians or not.[206][207]

On 6 May, the state-owned Saudi Press Agency said at least 7 more Saudis were killed as a result of two separate Houthi attacks on the Saudi cities of Najran and Jizan, bringing the total Saudi civilian death toll to at least 10.[208] So far, nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks.[209]

On 7 May, the Houthi rebels reportedly brought down a Saudi Apache attack helicopter in Yemen, and killed and captured a number of Saudi soldiers after taking over 4 Saudi military outposts in Jizan.[210][211][212][213] The Saudis confirmed that they lost an Apache attack helicopter, but denied that it was shot down by the Houthis.[29]

Houthi fighters again struck Jizan and Najran with rockets and mortars on 11 May, in response to Saudi bombardment of the Sa'dah and Hajjah governorates. Saudi Arabia said one person was killed and three others, including two expatriates, were injured in Najran by the shelling.[214]

On 11 May, Saudi Arabia deployed a tank "strike force" to its southern border hours after Houthis fired 150 Katyusha rockets and mortars on the Saudi cities of Najran and Jizan. Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya Hadath TV Channel broadcast footage purportedly showing columns of military trucks carrying tanks heading towards the Kingdom's southern frontier.[215]

On 21 May, Houthi rebels killed at least 18 Saudi soldiers in an attack on a military site along the Saudi-Yemeni border, pro-Houthi Al-Massira TV channel said.[216]

On 27 May, the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry announced that 2 soldiers had been killed in a missile attack in the Asir region.[217]

On 6 June, the Houthi's fired a SCUD missile into Saudi Arabia, targeting the King Khaled air base. Saudi Arabia announced that it shot the missile down.[218]

On the night of 8 July, an Arab Coalition bombing killed by error over 70 soldiers loyal to president Hadi. Another 200 were injured at the Hadramut province.[219]

Naval involvementEdit

Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners are maintaining a sea blockade in Yemen's territorial waters.[220]

A "military source and pro-Hadi militiamen" told the AFP on 26 April that coalition warships were participating in the shelling of the port city of Aden[221]

On 30 April, the Iranian navy announced it had deployed two destroyers to the Gulf of Aden to "ensure the safety of commercial ships of our country against the threat of pirates", according to a rear admiral speaking to Iranian state news.[222] According to the same source, the deployment was scheduled to last until mid-June. Iran's deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, told the state-run Tasnim News Agency that "others will not be allowed to put our shared security at risk with military adventures".[223]

Other effortsEdit

Both the Omani[224] and Iranian[155][225] governments said they welcomed the end of air strikes. On 22 April, Oman presented a seven-point peace deal to both parties. The proposed peace treaty entailed the reinstatement of Hadi's government and the evacuation of Houthi fighters from major cities.[224]

Alleged Iranian involvementEdit

The Saudi-led coalition accused Iran of militarily and financially supporting the Houthis.[226][227] On 9 April, U.S. secretary of state John Kerry said there were "obviously supplies that have been coming from Iran", with "a number of flights every single week that have been flying in", and warned Iran to stop its alleged support of the Houthis.[228] Iran denied these claims.

Anti-Houthi fighters defending Aden claimed they captured two officers in the Iranian Quds Force on 11 April, who had purportedly been serving as military "advisers" to the Houthi militias in the city.[229] However, there were no updates on this claim since then. Iran denied presence of any Iranian military force in Yemen.[230]

According to Michael Horton, an expert on Yemeni affairs, the notion that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy is "nonsense".[231]

According to the AFP, a confidential report presented to the Security Council's Iran sanctions committee in April 2015 claimed that Iran has been shipping weapons to the Houthi rebels since between 2009 and 2013.[232] The panel further stated that there have been no reports of any weapon shipments since the 2013 incident.[233]

On May 2, Iran's deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Tehran will not let regional powers jeopardize its security interests in Yemen.[233]

According to American officials, Iran discouraged the Houthi rebels from taking over the Yemeni capital in late 2014, casting further doubt on claims that the rebels are fighting a proxy war on behalf of Iran. A spokeswoman for the US National Security Council said that it remained the council's assessment that "Iran does not exert command and control over the Houthis in Yemen."[234]

On May 6, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said, "The Americans shamelessly support the killing of the Yemeni population, but they accuse Iran of interfering in that country and of sending weapons when Iran only seeks to provide medical and food aid".[235]

US involvementEdit

U.S.Defense Secretary Ash Carter places his hand over his heart as the national anthem plays during an honor cordon to welcome Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud to the Pentagon, May 13, 2015 150513-D-NI589-527c

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter with Saudi Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, Pentagon, 13 May 2015

US supports the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen by "providing intelligence sharing, targeting assistance, advisory and logistical support to the military intervention," according to the state department.[236] In April 2015, U.S. expanded its intelligence-sharing with the Saudi-led alliance.[237] Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said: "As part of that effort, we have expedited weapons deliveries, we have increased our intelligence sharing, and we have established a joint coordination planning cell in the Saudi operation centre."[238] HRW says evidence shows that Saudi Arabia has been using U.S.-supplied cluster bombs outlawed in much of the world.[239] According to Anthony Cordesman, the US government does not want "the strategic Bab-el-Mandeb strait" to be threatened.[240]

Many in US SOCOM reportedly favor Houthis, as they have been an effective force in order to roll back al-Qaeda and recently ISIL in Yemen, "something that hundreds of U.S. drone strikes and large numbers of advisers to Yemen’s military had failed to accomplish". According to a senior CENTCOM commander, "the reason the Saudis didn’t inform us of their plans is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think — that it was a bad idea." As Yemen expert Michael Horton puts it, US has been "Iran's air force in Iraq", and now "we are al-Qaeda's air force in Yemen". Acoording to an Al Jazeera report, one reason for U.S. support may be the diplomatic logic of tamping down Saudi Arabia's opposition to a nuclear deal with Iran by backing the Saudi-led response to what a number of U.S. allies in the region portray as rapidly expanding Iranian influence in Arab countries, and another is the view among some U.S. military commanders that countering Iran takes strategic priority over combating Al-Qaeda and ISIL.[241]

Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has praised Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, saying, "The prospect of radical groups like Iranian-backed Houthi militants" was "more than [U.S. Arab allies] could withstand."[241]

On June 30, a Human Rights Watch report stated that US-made bombs were being used in attacks indiscriminately targeting civilians and violating the laws of war. The report photographed “the remnants of an MK-83 air-dropped 1,000-pound bomb made in the U.S.”[242]

Special forcesEdit

CNN reported on 3 April, citing an unnamed Saudi source, that Saudi special forces were on the ground in and around Aden, "coordinating and guiding" the resistance in the city to the Houthis.[243] The Saudi government has officially declined to comment on whether it has special forces operating in Yemen, with Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir saying on 2 April that Saudi Arabia has no "formal" troops in Aden.[141]

Accusations of violations of international lawEdit

According to Farea Al-Muslim, direct war crimes have been committed during the conflict; for example, an IDP camp was hit by a Saudi airstrike, while Houthis have sometimes prevented aid workers from giving aid.[244] The UN and several major human rights groups discussed the possibility that war crimes may have been committed by Saudi Arabia during the air campaign.[245]

Human Rights Watch (HRW) wrote that the Saudi-led air campaign that began on 26 March 2015 had conducted airstrikes in apparent violation of the laws of war, such as the March 30 attack on a displaced-persons camp in Mazraq, northern Yemen, which struck a medical facility and a market. HRW also said that the Houthis had unlawfully deployed forces in densely populated areas and used excessive force against peaceful protesters and journalists. In addition, HRW said that by providing logistical and intelligence assistance to coalition forces, the United States may have become a party to the conflict, creating obligations under the laws of war.[246] Other incidents noted by HRW that had been deemed as indiscriminate or disproportionate or "in violation of the laws of war" were: a strike on a dairy factory outside the Red Sea port of Hodaida (31 civilian deaths);[247] a strike that destroyed a humanitarian aid warehouse of the international aid organization Oxfam in Saada;[248] and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s blockade of Yemen that kept out fuel desperately needed for the survival of the Yemeni population.[249] Internationally outlawed cluster bombs were used by the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in Yemen that wounded civilians, based on an HRW report.[250]

Amnesty International has said that several Saudi Arabian–led air strikes it has documented hit five densely populated areas (Sa'dah, Sana'a, Hodeidah, Hajjah and Ibb), and "raise concerns about compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law."[251][252] It added that, according to its research, at least 139 people, including at least 97 civilians (of whom 33 were children), were killed during these strikes, and 460 individuals were injured (of whom at least 157 are civilians).[251]

U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Johannes van der Klaauw, said that air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Sa'ada city in Yemen, where many civilians were trapped, were in breach of international humanitarian law, despite calls for civilians to leave the area. Scores of civilians were reportedly killed and thousands forced to flee their homes after the Saudi-led coalition declared the entire governorate a military target, he said.[253][254] Van der Klaauw also said that coalition strikes had targeted schools and hospitals, in breach of international law.[255]

A group of 17 aid agencies working in Yemen condemned the growing intensity of airstrikes in the north of Yemen on 8 and 9 May 2015. Save the Children's Country Director in Yemen, Edward Santiago, said that the "indiscriminate attacks after the dropping of leaflets urging civilians to leave Sa'ada raises concerns about the possible pattern being established in breach of International Humanitarian Law."[256]

On June 30, Human Rights Watch reported that several Saudi airstrikes were in clear violation of international law. The report confirmed 59 (including 14 women and 35 children) civilian deaths in Saada between April 6 and May 11. The report also highlighted attacks on 6 civilian homes as well as five markets that were deliberate attacks.[242]

Airstrike casualtiesEdit

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The factual accuracy of this article may be compromised due to out-of-date information

Date Place Deaths Source
26 March–7 April[257] Sana'a 88 civilians U.N.
26 March–23 April[258] Sana'a 209 people U.N.
30 March[259] Mazraq 29 civilians U.N.
31 March[260] Saada 19 civilians U.N.
31 March[261] Ibb province 14 people (11 civilians) Local sources
31 March[262] Wadi Saan 10 civilians Local sources
31 March[263] Hodeida governorate 31 civilians HRW
7 April[264][265] Maitam 3 civilians Local sources
12 April[266] Taiz 8 civilians Local sources
17 April[267] Yarim, south of Sanaa 7 civilians Local sources
18 April[268] Saada 1 civilian Local sources
19–29 April[269] Haradh 15 people U.N.
20 April[270] Fajj Atan military base, Sana'a 90 people ICRC
21 April–5 May[271] Aden 22 civilians U.N.
21 April[272] Ibb province 20 people Local sources
21 April[272] Haradh 9 people Local sources
26 April[273] Al-Thawra hospital, Taiz 19 people U.N.
27 April[274] Aden 2 civilians Local sources
27–28 April[275] Bajel District 30 people U.N.
28 April[276] between Al-Qaras and Basatir 40 civilians Local sources
1 May[271] Sana'a 17 civilians U.N.
6 May[277][278] Sadaa 34 people including at least 27 civilians U.N. and HRW
6 May[279] Sanaa 20 people U.N.
6 May[280] Kitaf 7 civilians Local sources
6 May[190] Dhamar governorate 11 people Local sources
9 May[281] Saada 4 civilians U.N.
11 May[282] Sanaa 5 people Agence France-Presse
14 May[283] Saada 9 people Associated Press
21 May[284] Hajjah Governorate 5 civilians U.N
26 May[285] Saada 7 civilians Local Sources
27 May[286][287] Saada and Yemen 80–100 people Reuters
4 June[288] Across Yemen 58 people Local Sources
6 June[218] Across Yemen 38 people Local Sources
7 June[289] Sanaa 44 people Local Sources
12 June[290] Old City of Sanaa 6 people Local sources
13 June[291] Bait Me'yad, Sanaa 9 people Medical sources
19 June[292] Across Yemen 10 civilians Local sources
30 June[293] Saada 2 people Local sources
2 July[293] Sanaa 8 people News Agency
3 July[294] Across Yemen 16 people Local sources
6 July[295] Across Yemen 100 people Local and Medical sources
25 July[296] Mokha, Yemen 120 Civilians Associated Press

A Houthi spokesman stated on 28 April that the air-strikes killed 200 members of all pro-Houthi forces since the Saudi-led campaign started.[36] In addition, UNICEF reported on 24 April that the strikes had killed 64 children.[297]

On 25 April, the Iranian Fars News Agency reported that, according to the Yemeni Freedom House Foundation, 3,512 people had been killed by the air-strikes since they started.[298]

Between 26 March and 21 April, The New York Times confirmed 18 air-strikes which resulted in civilian casualties.[299]

According to the United Nations, between 26 March and 10 May 2015, the conflict in Yemen, including the Coalition air strikes, has killed at least 828 Yemeni civilians, including 91 women and 182 children. 182 were killed between 4 and 10 May alone, with most of those due to the air strikes.[300] Some of the strikes appeared to have involved violations of international humanitarian law according to Human Rights Watch.[301][302]

On May 6, HRW reported that an airstrike struck a residential home in Saada, killing 27 members of one family, including 17 children.[278]

On May 26, 7 members of the same family were killed in a Saudi-led airstrike.[285]

On May 27, nearly 100 people were killed due to airstrikes hitting Sanaa, Sa'da and Hodeida in the largest ever one-day death toll throughout the conflict.[287]

On June 28, a coalition airstrike hit and damaged the UN compound in Aden, severely damaging the UNDP building and injuring a guard.[303]

On June 30, Human Rights Watch released a report stating that air strikes by a Saudi-led Arab coalition on the northern Yemeni city of Saada, a Houthi rebel stronghold, have killed dozens of civilians and wrecked homes and markets. Human Rights Watch said it had documented a dozen airstrikes on Saada that destroyed or damaged civilian homes, five markets, a school, and a petrol station although there was no evidence they were being used for military purposes. "Saada City's streets are littered with bomb craters, destroyed buildings, and other evidence of coalition airstrikes," HRW's Sarah Leah Whitson said in the report[304] and later added. "These attacks appear to be serious laws-of-war violations that need to be properly investigated.”[305]

On July 6, Saudi-led airstrikes killed over 100 people including over 30 civilians in Al Joob, Amran.[306] The state-run news agency also said that 40 had been killed in a raid on a livestock market in the town of al-Foyoush. Local residents also reported 30 deaths in a raid they said apparently targeted a Houthi checkpoint on the main road between Aden and Lahj. They said 10 of the dead were Houthi fighters. MSF head of mission in Yemen said "It is unacceptable that airstrikes take place in highly concentrated civilian areas where people are gathering and going about their daily lives, especially at a time such as Ramadan."[295]

On July 25, Saudi-led airstrikes killed over 120 civilians in the town of Mokha, marking the deadliest strike against civilians since the airstrikes began. The airstrikes hit workers' housing for a power plant in Mokha, flattening some of the buildings to the ground, the officials said. A fire erupted in the area, charring many of the corpses, including children, women and elderly people. "It just shows what is the trend now of the airstrikes from the coalition," said Hassan Boucenine of the Geneva-based Doctors Without Borders. "Now, it's a house, it's a market, it's anything." He added that many of the workers had families visiting for the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Mokha, populated largely by fisherman, had a reputation as one of the safest places in the country embroiled in war, said Boucenine.[296]

On August 18, Amnesty International reported that it had confirmed 141 civilian deaths from eight Saudi-led air-strikes.[307]

Infrastructure damage and humanitarian situationEdit

On 26 March, Interior Ministry officials linked to Ansar Allah documented that 23 civilians had been killed and 24 wounded. Among the dead were 5 children, ages 2 to 13, 6 women, and an elderly man, they said. The wounded included 12 children, ages 3 to 8, and 2 women due to airstrike against Sana'a particularly in Bani Hawat, a predominantly Houthi neighborhood near Sanaa’s international and military airports, and al-Nasr, near the presidential palace. Human Rights Watch documented the deaths of 11 civilians, including 2 women and 2 children, other than those provided by the Yemeni officials as well as 14 more wounded, including 3 children and 1 woman. According to Amnesty International, that bombing destroyed at least 14 homes in Bani Hawat.[308]

On 31 March, OCHA reported that 13 of Yemen's 22 Governorates were affected and highlighted infrastructure effect that detailed the coalitions bombing of a refugee camp that killed 29 and injured 40. Estimated fuel shortage in the south threatened water access to citizens and in Lahj, electricity and water services had not been functioning for several days.[309] Later that day, Amnesty International reported that at least six civilians including four children were burned to death as a result of an airstrike during the morning. It also reported that two fuel stations were destroyed. In al-Kadima area in al-Kita, several passengers were killed in a car which had stopped to refuel, and a petrol station worker was injured. The third strike, apparently aimed at a passing fuel tanker, set fire to at least three civilian homes within a cluster of around 30–40 homes. Amnesty International then stated that "it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Saudi Arabian-led coalition is turning a blind eye to civilian deaths and suffering caused by its military intervention."[310]

On 17 April, OCHA reported on the increasing deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, reporting airstrikes hitting in Saada City a water tank, the electricity station, a petrol station, a plastics processing factory, a shopping centre, and a housing complex for doctors working for Al Rahmah Hospital. Several days earlier, airstrikes had hit private homes, the post office, a community centre, government offices, markets and vehicles. Local partners estimated about 50 dead within the past week. In Sana'a residential neighborhoods near Assir, Ayban, and Faj Attan were affected due to close military camps. In Amran, airstrikes over the last several days hit a petrol station, an educational institute, and a bridge. According to local reports, a local water corporation in Hajjah (Abbs District) was hit. The report also states that civilian casualties were severely under-reported as families who do not have access to hospitals bury their members with them.[311]

On 18 April, an air strike in Saada hit an Oxfam warehouse, damaging much needed humanitarian supplies and killing at least one civilian. Aid groups widely condemned the strike.[268][312]

On 20 April, coalition airstrikes hit the Fajj Atan military base, causing a large explosion that killed 38 civilians and injured over 500. The airstrike also targeted the office of Yemen Today, a TV network owned by Ali Abdullah Saleh, killing three and injuring other workers. An eye witness reported that emergency rooms were overwhelmed with victims, who screamed in pain from wounds sustained by the flying debris of their homes.[313][314] Head of the ICRC in Yemen later clarified that 90 people had died during this attack.[270]

On 21 April, the BBC reported a warning from the UN Agency about worsening health services in Yemen and a dire need for life-saving medicines.[315]

On 24 April, UNICEF released a report stating that since the start of the military intervention, 115 children have been killed in the conflict, with at least 64 from aerial bombardment.[297]

According to the OCHA's fifth report released on 26 April, humanitarian operations in Yemen would come to a complete halt within two weeks and hospitals in both Sanaa and Aden will close completely due to the severe lack of fuel. The lack of fuel has also affected water supplies in various areas. Markets in affected governorates are not able to provide the necessary food supplies with wheat grain and flour prices rising by 42% and 44%. The healthcare system in Yemen is facing an imminent collapse with hospitals struggling to operate due to lack of medicines and vital supplies. Essential medicine prices have increased by 300%. Casualties from March 19 to April 22, for the entire conflict, were at 1,080 (28 children and 48 women) and 4,352 wounded (80 children and 143 women). According to the WFP, 12 million people are currently food insecure, a 13% rise since the start of the campaign.[316]

On 29 April, OCHA reported that airstrikes hit Sanaa International Airport on April 28, damaging the runway and hampering aid deliveries. Airstrikes were also reported at Al Hudayda Airport and Saada. Widespread internet and phone disruptions were reported in several governorates due to the lack of fuel and electricity. On 25 April, the Yemen Public Telecommunications Corporation warned that unless the fuel crisis is resolved, telecommunication services (mobile phones, internet, and land lines) will shut down within a week. The disruption in communication was effecting information flow on humanitarian needs and operations as escalation of conflict continues. On 29 April, Haradh was heavily bombarded since 6.30 am, including areas near the main hospital. Food distribution and aid would reportedly stop within a week if additional fuel could not be obtained. As of April 29, the Al Hudaydah Governorate ran out of fuel and aid operations could not be completed.[269]

On 30 April, OCHA's Flash Update 22 reported that airstrikes hit the main roads connecting the Sana'a Governorate with Ibb in the Somarah area; there are no alternative roads between these areas. It also indicated that over 3,410 people from Yemen had arrived in Somalia since the fighting escalated, with 2,285 arrivals registered in the northeastern Puntland region and 1,125 registered in the northwestern Somaliland region. A further 8,900 migrants were registered in Djibouti, 4,700 of whom were third country nationals.[317]

On 4 May, coalition airstrikes hit Sana'a international airport destroying airplanes, including a cargo ship used to transport food and supplies to remote parts of the country.[318] OCHA reported that several airstrikes hit the Al Hudayda airport and surrounding areas in Al Hudayda City. In Aden, the districts of Craiter and Al-Muala were without electricity, water and telecommunication for over a week according to residents.[319]

On 5 May, in order to send humanitarian aid, Johannes van der Klaauw, the UN official, haggled with the Saudi-led coalition to stop bombing Yemen’s international airport.[320] The UN emphasized on the effects on persons with disabilities stating that over 3,000,000 people with disabilities have been affected greatly and cannot meet their basic needs. The conflict has forced more than 300 centres to close. The UN spokesman also added that they were especially concerned about an airstrike that targeted a military field hospital.[271]

On 6 May, the OCHA reported that there was only enough fuel to support humanitarian operations for one week, with fuel and food prices continuing to increase.[321] The World Food Programme declared that shortages of fuel has changed to a serious threat for hospitals and food supplies in Yemen. Edward Santiago, country director for Save the Children, said in statement a short time ceasefire is not enough to allow for humanitarian supplies.[322]

On 7 May, trade sources stated that merchant ships were being delayed weeks from entering Yemen and in one case, following inspection and approval, a food supply ship was denied access into Yemen. The food crisis increased to include over 20 million people going hungry or 80% of the population.[323] Also, Saudi airstrikes hit Saada Governorate destroying a mine factory and a communications center. Local sources reported that 13 villagers were killed due to shelling near the border with Saudi Arabia.[324]

On 18 May, HRW documented airstrikes that hit residential homes and markets that did not have a military objective that killed and wounded civilians. HRW also documented four markets being bombed, making it harder to buy food as well as water, electricity and food storage facilities that may have had a military justification, but the short and long-term harm to civilians may have far exceeded any military gain. Human Rights Watch has also documented several apparently indiscriminate airstrikes resulting in civilian casualties throughout the conflict.[278]

On 21 May, the OCHA reported that airstrikes hit two farms adjacent to a humanitarian facility in Hajjah Governorate which resulted in civilian casualties and a warehouse containing humanitarian supplies was damaged in another strike. In Sa’adah City, preliminary satellite imagery analysis has identified widespread damage to infrastructure with 1,171 structures affected, damaged or destroyed by recent conflict. The analysis showed that as of 17 May, 35 impact craters existed within the city, most of which were located along the runway of Sa’ada airport. Four medical facilities were identified within 100 meters of damaged and destroyed buildings, and may have sustained some damage. Similar imagery of Aden identified 642 affected structures, including 327 destroyed. Local partners reported that 674 schools have been forced to close in Sana'a, disrupting schooling for over 551,000 students.[284]

On 22 May, the OCHA reported that over 545,000 people have been displaced between 26 March and 7 May. Fuel prices have increased by over 500% and food supplies by 80% since March 26 with a devastating impact on people and communities struggling to cope with the conflict. The continued restrictions on the arrival of goods via air and sea ports, and insecurity on roads, have restricted the delivery of essential supplies to people in desperate need. In Sana’a, security concerns due to airstrikes prevented delivery of food assistance. On 21 May, five Ethiopian migrants were killed and two others injured in an airstrike that hit open space 500 metres from an IOM-managed Migrant Response Centre. The IOM has condemned the attack and reminded all parties to comply with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law. Ongoing conflict and naval blockades are restricting imports of food and fuel, driving up prices at a time that household income sources have been affected, including salaries, agricultural wages, petty trade, livestock sales and disruptions to remittance flows. With continued conflict and import restrictions, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely in the coming month. In six governorates, reports from OCHA partners show that basic food items are no longer available (Aden, Abyan, Al Dhale’e, Al Bayda, Lahj, Sa’ada).[325]

On 3 June, The Operations Room of the Ministry of Health in Sana’a, which manages all emergency operations for the entire country, was damaged. The OCHA reported that IDP has more than doubled again to over 1 million people since the start of the intervention.[326]

On 5 June, the Washington Post reported that several Yemeni cultural and heritage strikes have been repeatedly targeted by Saudi airstrikes throughout the conflict. Reports state that Al-Qahira Castle, The 1,200-year-old al-Hadi Mosque, Dhamar Museum with over 12,500 artifacts[327] were destroyed and the Great Dam of Marib was hit according to the Sanaa Branch of the German Archaeological Institute along with airstrikes targeting the UNESCO World Heritage site the Old City of Sanaa and the Old City of Saada.[328]

On 14 June, the OCHA reported that there was a large outbreak of Dengue fever in Yemen that has killed over 113 people and infected over 4,000. Patients cannot be treated due to lack of water supply in affected areas. The OCHA was also investigating reports of a Measles outbreak. Health officials consider the breakdown in health services, including decrease in immunization coverage, closure of health facilities, and difficulty in accessing health services, since the escalation of the conflict as possible contributing factors.[329]

On 17 June, an OCHA report highlighted that Food security in Yemen continues to worsen, with 19 out of 22 governorates now classified as being in ‘crisis’ or ‘emergency’. Half the population is food insecure and nearly a quarter is severely food insecure, with the situation expected to steadily worsen. A joint analysis of household food security by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation in Yemen (MoPIC), released in Sana’a, has found that Yemen is sliding into catastrophe. More than six million Yemenis are currently in a Phase 4 Emergency, and nearly 6.9 million people are in a Phase 3 Crisis: These figures indicate that conflict and the lack of food and fuel in the markets are pushing Yemen towards a complete breakdown in food security and health. Current import reductions are having a dramatic effect on the people’s ability to access food.[330]

On 1 July, the UN announced that Yemen is currently in the highest level humanitarian disaster where over 80% of the population needs help. UN agencies agreed to classify Yemen as a level 3 emergency as UN Envoy for Yemen stated that Yemen is one step away from famine.[331]

ResponsesEdit

Reactions in YemenEdit

OppositionEdit

Following the call by the leader of the Houthi movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, tens of thousands Yemenis of various socioeconomic backgrounds took to the streets of the rebel-controlled capital, Sana'a, to voice their anger at the Saudi intervention.[332][333] In a televised address, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi heaped scorn on Saudi Arabia for their “unjustified attack on Yemeni people.” He stressed that the attacks uncovered the “tyrannical nature” of Saudi regime. “This unjustified aggression shows the hostility and arrogance of this regime. The attacks are reflecting the inhumanity of the aggressor.”[334] On the same day, thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of Taiz to show support to Hadi and Saudi Arabia.

On April 21, representatives of 19 Yemeni political parties and associations rejected the UN Resolution 2216, stating that it encourages terrorist expansion, intervenes in Yemen's sovereign affairs, violates the right of self-defence by the Yemeni people and emphasized the associations' support of the Yemeni Army.[335][336]

On 23 April, a spokesman for the Houthis said UN-sponsored peace talks should continue, but only following "a complete halt of attacks" by the Saudi-led coalition.[337]

In a televised address on 24 April, Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former president whose supporters had been fighting alongside the Houthis, called on the Houthis and other armed groups in Yemen to withdraw from the territory they had seized and participate in UN-sponsored peace talks, in exchange for an end to the Saudi-led air campaign.[338] Exiled Yemeni Foreign Minister rejected the peace proposal saying that Ali Abdullah Saleh has no place in the talks.[339]

On April 26, the General Authority for Archeology and Museums in Yemen condemned attacks targeting historical sites in Yemen. The statement highlighted an attack that completey destroyed an ancient fortress in the Damt District of the Ad Dali' Governorate[340]

On April 26, several Yemeni political parties issued a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon requesting that he continue the peace talks. The letter emphasized that Yemen is still under attack by air, land and sea and that the existing blockade is increasing the humanitarian crisis and that education has been denied for 3 millions students due to the "random attacks".[341]

On May 2, the Yemenis Forum Of Persons With Disability stated that 300 centres and organizations have been forced to stop operations following the intervention. The organization denounced the air and sea blockade that "increased the suffering of the disabled greatly".[342]

On 2 May, Hussein al-Ezzi, the Houthi head of foreign relations, sent a letter addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon seeking an end to the "unjustified Saudi aggression".[343] He asked the UN to seek an end to what Houthis described as blatant aggression against the country.[344]

On 7 May, 17 humanitarian agencies in Yemen stressed that life-saving aid would run out in a week and emphasized the need to remove the existing blockade. The International Non-Government Organizations Forum in Yemen appealed for opening the land, sea and air routes expeditiously to allow basic materials to enter the country immediately.[345]

On May 10, Houthi military spokesman Sharaf Luqman welcomed the Russian initiative, which will include a suspension of military operations in Yemen and also lifting a blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and allied Arab states on Yemen, according to the pro-Houthi SABA news agency.[346]

SupportEdit

Anti-Houthi groups, especially Sunnis in the south and north of the country, while supporting the intervention do not wish for the return to power of Hadi, since they view him as the man "who ceded control of the capital without a fight six months ago" to the Houthis.[347]

On 3 April, the Al-Islah party, the Yemeni branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, declared its support for the Saudi-led campaign.[348] Supporters of the party have reportedly suffered consequences, including kidnappings and raids, from supporters of the Houthis and of Saleh, as a result of this declaration.[349][350]

On 26 April, the foreign minister in Hadi's government, Riad Yaseen, rejected Ali Abdullah Saleh's calls for UN-sponsored peace talks on the grounds that Saudi-led airstrikes against the Houthi rebels against his government were ongoing.[351]

Reactions in Saudi ArabiaEdit

OppositionEdit

On the 5 April, a firefight broke out between anti-government Shiite rioters and security forces in Saudi Arabia's Shiite-majority Eastern Province, which resulted in the death of one Saudi police officer and injured three others.[352] The firefight broke out after calls in the Eastern Province to protest against Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen.[353]

On 29 April, Salman of Saudi Arabia dismissed his appointed crown prince, Muqrin of Saudi Arabia. Some regional political analysts have speculated that the decision was precipitated by Muqrin's alleged opposition to the intervention. Salman appointed Muhammad bin Nayef, who has publicly announced his support of the operation, to replace Muqrin as crown prince.[354][355]

SupportEdit

On the 21st of April, Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal reportedly offered 100 Bentleys to the Saudi air force pilots who participated in the war on Yemen. The announcement was met with substantial criticism on social media.[356]

Among the general Saudi populace, the war in Yemen is very popular.[357]

Reactions in other coalition countriesEdit

BahrainEdit

On the 3rd of April, a number of Bahrainis protested against the Saudi-led war on Yemen.[358][359] A prominent Bahraini opposition politician, Fadhel Abbas, was reportedly arrested by Bahraini authorities for condemning the bombing of Yemen as “flagrant aggression”.[360]

EgyptEdit

Supporters of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood held demonstrations against Egypt's military intervention in Yemen.[361]

KuwaitEdit

A Shiite member of parliament, Abdul Hamid Dashti, reportedly criticized the Saudi-led war on Yemen and described it as an "act of aggression".[362] A prominent Shiite lawyer, Khalid Al Shatti, was summoned by the Kuwaiti authorities for his criticism of the Saudi government's decision to intervene in Yemeni affairs.[363][364]

On April 28, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah stated that the only solution to the Yemen crisis was political.[365]

International reactionsEdit

The Arab League and United States voiced support for the intervention,[366][367][368] but the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations criticised it.[369][370][371] The United Kingdom has supported the Saudi-led intervention, re-supplying the Saudi military with bombs.[372]

Iran has condemned Saudi Arabian-led intervention as a "US-backed aggression."[373] Iran's U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo said that "those who violate international law, including international humanitarian law, should be held accountable for their acts and there should be no room for impunity."[374]

Asian countries like China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan, moved within days to evacuate their citizens from Yemen.[375][376][377][378] The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy evacuated citizens from 10 different countries (for example, Poland), as well as its own nationals, from Aden by frigate on 2 April.[379] Indian Armed Forces carried out a massive rescue operation codenamed Operation Raahat evacuated more than 5,600 people (in just nine days) of which 4,640 were Indians & 960 were foreign nationals of 41 countries.[380][381] The Federal Government of Somalia also began formally evacuating its citizens in early May.[382]

On 4 April, the ICRC called for a 24-hour ceasefire to deliver aid and supplies after the Saudi-led coalition blocked three aid shipments to Yemen.[383][384] Russia also called for "humanitarian pauses" in the coalition bombing campaign, bringing the idea before the United Nations Security Council in a 4 April emergency meeting.[385] However, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United Nations has raised questions over whether humanitarian pauses are the best way of delivering humanitarian assistance.[386]

On 7 April, China renewed calls for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen[387]

On 10 April, Julien Harneis UNICEF Yemen representative said to the CNN, "The humanitarian situation is worsening all the time, with increasingly limited access to water, basic sanitation and critical health services,". As a result, UNICEF has sent antibiotics, bandages, syringes, IV sets and other medical supplies, to reach Yemen's capital Sana'a in an effort to improve hygienic conditions and to aid the civilian casualties.[388]

On 10 April, the Pakistani Parliament declined a Saudi Arabian request to join the coalition. The Parliament clarified the wish to maintain a neutral diplomatic stance.[389]

On 10 April, Human Rights Watch expressed concern that Saudi airstrikes violated the rules of war and urged the US and Saudi Arabia to minimize civilian casualties. The organization sent letters to the US and Saudi Arabia and reports that over 311 civilians had been killed and there was no legal reason for such a high toll.[390] On Monday April 13, the UN's Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that it can confirm the death of 37 civilians including 10 children, in bombings the week before and that airstrikes had hit three hospitals in that period. And also stated that in the last 24 hours, eight Yemeni cities were hit with airstrikes, including the capital, Sanaa.

On 14 April, the Security Council adopted a resolution placing an arms embargo on three top Houthi leaders, including Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, as well as former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his son, Ahmed Ali Saleh.[391][392] The embargo also covers their supporters, and calls on the Houthis to retreat and lay down arms. Other provisions in the resolution include appointing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to "facilitate" the provision of aid, including negotiating humanitarian pauses in the conflict. It also calls on all involved parties to participate in peace talks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The resolution was sponsored by Jordan, which holds a rotating seat at the Security Council, and the Gulf States.

On 16 April, the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, resigned, citing his failure to negotiate an end to the conflicts in Yemen.[393] Benomar brokered the post-Arab Spring transition which saw Ali Abdullah Saleh step down in favour of Hadi. Following the resignation, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen to facilitate the delivery of aid.[394]

On April 16, a group of Yemen scholars based in the United States and the United Kingdom wrote an open letter, stating that the operation is illegal under international law and called for the UN to enforce an immediate ceasefire.[395]

On 17 April, Iran submitted to the United Nations a four-point peace proposal aimed at ending the conflict in Yemen. The proposal calls for an immediate ceasefire and end of all foreign military attacks, humanitarian assistance, a resumption of broad national dialogue and "establishment of an inclusive national unity government.[396] Exiled Yemeni officials later rejected the deal, calling it a political manouvere.[397] Russia confirmed its backing of the proposal and that it would use its full capacity to further the plan.[398][unreliable source?]

The UN on 17 April called for 274 million US dollars in humanitarian aid for Yemen, to meet the needs of 7.5 million people over three months. The same day, Saudi Arabia pledged to fund the entire appeal.[399] However, the UN agency responsible has opted to keep the appeal open, stating that it "urged other donors to provide more support to meet increasing needs across the country."[400]

On April 18, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that Chinese president Xi Jinping had called Salman of Saudi Arabia and urged him to increase efforts to find a political solution to end the crisis in Yemen.[401]

On April 19, international aid agency Oxfam condemned Saudi Arabia over airstrikes it said hit one of its warehouses containing humanitarian supplies in the Houthi northern stronghold of Saada.[402]

On April 21, Iranian Foreign Minister announced that he was hopeful that a ceasefire would be under effect later in the day.[403] Later on Tuesday, Saudi foreign ministry announced the end of Operation Decisive Storm, claiming it had achieved its purpose and the start of Operation Restoring Hope which hopes to "protect civilians and fight terrorism".[404]

Mauritanian diplomate Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed was nominated by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to replace former UN Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar, who resigned on 16 April.[405] His nomination was confirmed on 25 April.[406]

On 24 April, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) announced it would hold an extraordinary meeting of its foreign ministers to discuss the situation in Yemen.[407]

A number of aid groups have come out against the air campaign: Amnesty International said some of the coalition's air strikes "appear to have failed to take necessary precautions to minimize harm to civilians and damage to civilian objects".[408] Reporters without Borders condemned a strike in Sanaa on 20 April that caused the deaths of four employees of Al-Yemen Al-Youm TV and injured ten others; it also condemned attacks on journalists by pro-Houthi forces.[409]

On April 24, thousands of Nigerians took to the street of Kano following the Friday prayers to denounce the Saudi attacks in Yemen.[410]

On April 25, professor Sami Ramadani of London Metropolitan University[citation needed] claimed Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is violating the Constitution of Yemen. According to the constitution, any leader, president or commander that requests military foreign intervention in Yemen is to be tried for treason.[411] However, under article 35 of the Yemeni constitution, "No organization, individual, group, political party or organization may establish forces or paramilitary groups for whatever purpose or under any name".[412] Additionally, under article 68, "no other [non-state-established] armed force may enter the House premises or take positions near its entrances except at the request of the Speaker."

On April 27, Former UN Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar stated in a press conference that Yemeni political parties were close to agreeing on a final peace deal before the air strikes led by Saudi Arabia started.[413]

On April 29, peace activist group "Womens Power to Stop War" demanded an end to the conflict and sent letters to over 10 embassies and representatives denouncing the conflict following a plea by Yemeni activist Amal Basha.[414]

By the end of April, the US government was seen to be gradually pressuring Saudi Arabia to end the air strikes in Yemen,[415] with National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice saying: “There is no military solution to the crisis in Yemen, and the humanitarian situation will only worsen if the conflict continues.”[416] Also on 29 April, US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini had discussed the situation in Yemen, with particular emphasis on pushing forward political negotiations to end the conflict.[417]

On April 30, the ICRC and the UN World Food Program said aid delivery had become difficult to impossible, with the World Food Program suspending operations in Yemen, partially due to ongoing fighting between all sides and partially due to air transport restrictions and the destruction of Sanaa airport.[418][citation needed]

On May 1, the UNSC held an emergency meeting called by Russia to discuss the crisis in Yemen. The council did not agree on a Russian-drafted statement demanding an immediate ceasefire in what the Russian delegate called "amazing indecision." Diplomats said they rejected the Russian statement as they “needed time to consider the wording.”[273] A US official speaking to AP said the US was instead working directly with the Saudi government to facilitate aid delivery, condemning Houthi and pro-Saleh fighters for failing to abide by an earlier UN resolution calling on them to end fighting.[419] An unnamed diplomat told AFP that diplomats had agreed in principle with the Russian resolution, but failed to agree on the exact wording.[420]

On May 2, US Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the US, the UN, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were working on starting peace negotiations between the government and the rebels.[421]

On May 3, a report by Human Rights Watch said Saudi Arabia had used cluster munitions supplied by the US in Yemen on at least two occasions. In an earlier statement, Saudi Arabia had denied that the coalition was using cluster bombs, according to the group.[422]

On May 4, The UN called on the Saudi-led coalition to stop attacking Sanaa Airport to allow humanitarian aid to reach the country. Head of the ICRC in Yemen, Cedric Schweizer said "The harsh restrictions on importations imposed by the Coalition for the past six weeks, added to the extreme fuel shortages, have made the daily lives of Yemenis unbearable, and their suffering immense". The WFP also stated that its monthly fuel needs have increased 25-fold from 40,000 litres to 1 million.[423]

On May 6, US Secretary of State John Kerry pledged to discuss with Saudi officials the implementation of a humanitarian pause to ensure delivery of food, medicine and aid to civilians. Kerry, who was on a visit to Djibouti, urged all sides "to comply with humanitarian law to take every precaution to keep civilians out of the line of fire." [424]

On May 7, after discussions between Saudi Arabia and the US, Saudi Arabia proposed a five-day ceasefire so that humanitarian aid can be distributed. Two Houthi leaders told CNN that they will meet soon to discuss the proposal.[425] Hours later, coalition spokesman said that Saudi-led forces would continue "a harsh response" to Houthis’ attacks on the areas along the Kingdom’s southern border.[426]

On May 8, Russian envoy to the UN said that he expected UN-brokered peace talks would resume quickly and warned that sending ground troops into Yemen would be a "a reckless escalation".[427] Also, a UN official commented on the recently announced ceasfire saying that it will not be enough to facilitate all the humaniatrian needs of Yemen stating that a UN-chartered fuel vessel was still waiting off the coast of Yemen.[428]

On May 10, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen stated that the attacks on Saada province are in breach of international law after over 100 airstrikes hit the province in 3 days with scores of civilians reportedly killed and others trapped due to lack of fuel.[429]

On May 15, new UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed proposed peace talks in Geneva. Rebel spokesman Hamed al-Bokheiti says the Houthis are willing to hold talks in any "neutral" country.[430]

On May 20, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon announced that peace talks would be held in Geneva starting on May 28 and urged all parties to participate.[431] Houthi rebels have expressed support for the talks while exiled government officials in Yemen said they would only participate if the Houthi's withdrew from occupied cities.[432]

On May 26, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon announced that the peace talks were to be postponed indefinitely after exiled Yemeni officials refused to attend until rebels withdrew from all occupied cities.[433] Officials from the Houthi, Socialist and Unionist parties stated that they were notified that it had been postponed.[434]

On June 6, the UN announced that it would host peace talks between the factions on June 14.[435] Both the exiled officials and the Houthi group confirmed their attendance.[288]

On 29 June, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon denounced a coalition airstrike that hit a UN compound in Aden the previous day and requested the launch of a full investigation into the incident and for those responsible to be held to account.[436]

Other effectsEdit

Registration of Indian citizens evacuating from Yemen in progress (2015) - 1

Registration of Indian citizens evacuating from Yemen, March 2015

On March 25, Gulf Air, the Bahraini flag carrier airline, announced the immediate suspension of service to Sana'a International Airport, amid the worsening crisis.[437] Somali airlines such as Daallo Airlines and Jubba Airways also encountered difficulties, as they were unable to fly over Yemen due to its airspace becoming a restricted area.[438] On 15 April, Turkish Airlines announced it was suspending all flights to Yemen until 1 June "due to the ongoing political unrest in the country".[439]

Following Hadi's request, the administration of the Egypt-based Nilesat and Saudi-based Arabsat, two satellite communication companies, stopped broadcasting the Yemeni state-run channels, which had fallen under Houthi control. The channels include Al-Yemen, Al-Eman, Saba and Aden TV. On the other hand, armed Houthis closed down the Sana’a offices of four media outlets, including Al-Jazeera, Yemen Shabab and Suhail channels, as well as Al-Masdar's newspaper and website. Al-Saeeda channel was also stormed, but has been allowed to remain open on condition it does not broadcast anything deemed anti-Houthi propaganda. Houthi Political Office member Mohammad Al-Bukhaiti said the channels were closed for being anti-Houthi and supporting the Saudi-led coalition in its bombing campaign.[440]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula exploited the chaos in Yemen to capture the south-eastern port city of Al Mukalla in early April.[441]

King Salman shook up his cabinet in late April, replacing his half-brother Muqrin as crown prince with Muhammad bin Nayef and naming two prominent faces of the military campaign to prominent positions: his son Mohammed bin Salman as defence minister, and Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir as foreign minister. Some reports linked the cabinet reshuffle to the war in Yemen.[442][443] At least one political analyst suggested Muqrin was not supportive of the military intervention, and that was why he was removed as crown prince.[444] Prince Muqrin’s Yemeni Lineage has also been pointed out as one of the cause of Portfolio change.[445]

The exiled Yemeni government sent a request to the UN, asking for foreign troops intervention on the ground. An answer has still to be given.[446]

On 19 June, WikiLeaks announced the intention of releasing over 500,000 Saudi diplomatic documents to the internet. In its statement, WikiLeaks referred to a recent electronic attack on the Saudi Foreign Ministry by a group calling itself the Yemen Cyber Army but did not clarify if they passed on the documents to WikiLeaks.[447]

UN-brokered Yemen peace talksEdit

15 to 19 JuneEdit

Secretary-General of the United Nations called for "humanitarian pause" during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to allow aid to reach civilians in Yemen. But UN-brokered peace talks between the exiled government and the Houthis concluded in Geneva without reaching a ceasefire deal .[448][449]

Ramadan Peace agreementEdit

On July 4, Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam said in a post on his Facebook page he had met U.N. special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on Friday to discuss a Ramadan truce. The US and EU announced their support for a humanitarian truce.[450]

On July 9, 2015, the UN announced an unconditional truce between Friday July 10 until the end of Eid ul Fitr on July 17. Special Envoy to Yemen assured the agreement of all warring factions.[451] In a televised speech, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi head of the Houthi's endorsed the truce but doubted that the ceasefire would hold.[452] The truce was pierced within an hour by Saudi-led airstrikes targeting Sanaa and Taiz.[453] Saudi-led coalition spokesman later added that the coalition was not bound by the truce and that any truce would be counterproductive.[454] It later added that it was not requested to pause by the exiled Yemeni Government.[455]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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