Yemen’s ex-president Saleh shot dead after switching sides in civil war

5 Dec 2017   Yemen

Veteran former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed in a shooting on Monday after switching sides in Yemen’s civil war, abandoning his Iran-aligned Houthi allies in favor of a Saudi-led coalition, foes and supporters said. Sources in the Houthi militia said its fighters stopped Saleh’s armored vehicle with an RPG rocket outside the embattled capital Sanaa and then shot him dead. Sources in Saleh’s party confirmed he died in an attack on his convoy. Unverified footage of his bloodied body lolling in a blanket circulated just days after he tore up his alliance with the Houthis following nearly three years in which they had jointly battled the Saudi-led coalition that intervened to try to reinstate Yemen’s internationally recognized government. Sponsored In a televised […]

Houthi Rebels Threaten To Attack Saudi Oil Tankers

14 Nov 2017   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

The Houthi rebel group in Yemen has threatened to start attacking oil tankers and warships sailing under enemy flag if the Gulf coalition fighting it in the country does not reopen its ports. The coalition, which is led by Saudi Arabia, which supports Yemen’s elected government, now in exile, closed all borders with the country following a Houthi ballistic missile attack on Riyadh. The Saudi anti-missile defense system intercepted the weapon, but the Saudi government saw the long hand of Tehran behind the attack. On the grounds that the ballistic missile was supplied by Iran—something that Tehran has denied—Saudi Arabia closed off Yemeni ports to prevent another missile reaching its smaller neighbor, currently deep in the throes of what’s possibly the worst humanitarian crisis the world has seen in decades, not least because of the port closures. According to the United Nations, the closures could result in the death […]

Houthis Threaten Saudi Oil Tankers

15 Sep 2017   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said his rebel alliance would begin attacking Saudi oil tankers should the Kingdom begin an offensive against the key Yemeni port of Hodeidah, according to a new report by Reuters. “We could target Saudi oil tankers and we could do anything, we have not done this before,” he said. The speech, which was televised across the Houthi leader’s territory, added that Yemeni missiles could reach the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi, as well as anywhere in Saudi Arabia, though Reuters reports that the group’s technical capability to enforce such a threat is questionable. Abdel Malek insisted that Yemen fired a test missile towards Abu Dhabi earlier this month. The UAE is no longer safe for the country’s citizens, the leader said. Two years of civil war between Houthi rebels and Saudi-backed President Abdrabbuh Hadi has left Yemen’s economy wrecked. The KSA is on a mission […]

Saudi Coalition Blocks Four Oil Tankers From Entering Houthi Port

28 Jul 2017   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition and the Yemeni government blocked four oil tankers from entering the Hudaidah port on the Red Sea, in a move that will likely worsen the health crisis occurring in the war-torn country. The Hudaidah port is currently controlled by the Houthi rebels, a Shiite militant group that is backed by Iran. The Saudi coalition is trying to contain the spread of Iranian influence in the region by fighting a proxy war for control of the Bab al Mandab strait, which controls oil traffic to the booming markets of sub-Saharan Africa. Yemen has reported over 400,000 cases of cholera in recent months. The disease is spread through polluted water, which require water pumps—which in turn require fuel to run. Oil is also required to power hospitals and other critical infrastructure. The tankers denied entrance to the port contained ten percent of Yemen’s monthly energy needs. Coalition […]

Yemen War Threatens Crucial Oil Chokepoint

16 Jun 2017   Yemen

The Bab al-Mandan strait, which facilitates the transfer of 4 million barrels of oil to Middle Eastern markets everyday, has become increasingly contentious over the past few weeks as an international navel coalition grows its presence in the area. “Recent attacks against merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandeb have highlighted that there are still risks associated with transits through these waters,” the leadership of the Combined Maritime Forces, which boasts vessels from 31 nations, said on Monday. The U.S.-led group is based in Bahrain and guards the Gulf of Aden. In early June, unidentified forces attacked a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker from a vessel disguised as a fishing boat. Three grenades later, no member of the tanker’s crew suffered any injuries and it continued its voyage into the Red Sea. In January, Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, attacked a Saudi frigate in waters near Yemen. […]

Oil Tanker Passing Through Red Sea Attacked By Unknown Militants

1 Jun 2017   Yemen

An oil tanker passing through the Red Sea near Yemen suffered an attack on Wednesday perpetrated by unknown agents , according to the European Union’s naval forces. The assailants used rocket-propelled grenades on a tanker bearing the Marshall Islands’ flag in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which is the focus of the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran being fought as the Yemeni Civil War. Four million barrels of oil cross the strait on a daily basis, headed to various destinations in Europe, the United States, and Asia. Yemen’s Red Sea port, near the Bab al-Mandab strait, is currently controlled by Shi’ite Houthis. Whichever party maintains control of it has a strategic advantage because it provides a direct connection the Middle East (where the world’s largest proven oil reserves are) and Sub-Saharan Africa (a region expected to see a four-fold increase in energy demand by 2040), making it a […]

Yemen’s wheat reserves down to three months supply: U.N. official

28 Jan 2017   Yemen

Yemen has roughly three months supply of wheat left to draw from, leaving the country exposed to serious disruption as a central bank crisis cuts food imports and starvation deepens, the top U.N. aid official in the country told Reuters. A decision by Yemen’s internationally-recognized government in August to move the central bank out of Sanaa, the capital city controlled by the armed Houthi movement with which it is at war, to the southern port city of Aden has triggered bigger hardships for Yemenis and paralyzed the bank. Reuters reported in December that Yemen’s biggest traders had stopped new wheat imports due to a shutdown in trade finance and […]

Saudi-Led Coalition, Houthis Clash Near Major Oil Passage

17 Jan 2017   Yemen

Forces of the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the rebel group are fighting in the southwestern Yemeni region of Bab el-Mandeb, a vital passage for around 3.8 million barrels daily of Middle Eastern crude to overseas markets. Control of the passage is naturally important for both sides. The Saudi-led coalition cannot allow the Houthis to take it over because according to Emirati new outlet The National, they could use it to blackmail their enemies, paralyzing oil trade via the passage. This is why, the daily reported this weekend , forces loyal to the elected Yemeni government and UAE troops staged an offensive against the Houthis, “pushing the last remaining rebels out of the region of Dhubab,” along the Red Sea coast. The offensive was part of an advance on the city of Mokha, a major port on the coast. According to the latest reports from […]

Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthis Claim Saudi Villages Under Their Control

14 Nov 2016   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Shi’ite Houthi militia forces from Yemen claim to have taken control of villages across the border in Saudi Arabia, Houthi-run news agencies report , citing unnamed military sources. Several villages in the southwestern Saudi province of Jizan are now said to be under the control of Shi’ite militias, according to unconfirmed media reports. Among the villages Houthis claim to have taken over are Al-Kars and Al-Bahtit, while Houthi reports cite a military source as saying that militia had captured a strategic bridge that connects two areas near Al-Khubah. The same source claimed that the Saudi military suffered losses in the process that had retaliated with a bombardment of Al-Khubah. No official or other independent sources have yet verified the Houthi claims; however, earlier reports citing Saudi authorities had put 14 people wounded as a result of missiles fired into Saudi Arabia from across the border. These unconfirmed […]

Yemen too violent for energy work

21 Oct 2016   Yemen

Despite a brief halt to the fighting, the security situation in Yemen is too volatile to return to production, Austrian energy company OMV said. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry this week expressed support for a three-day halt to the fighting in Yemen. All warring factions in the country agreed to a proposal offered by a Saudi-led collation and the United Nations to halt fighting as of Wednesday. “We ask the parties to take all steps necessary to advance the implementation of this cessation, call on them to sustain it, and strongly encourage its unconditional renewal,” Kerry said in a statement earlier this week. A military spokesman told state news agency Saba that, as of Thursday, the truce held, though Yemeni forces […]

Yemen’s Houthis respond to air strike with missile attack

11 Oct 2016   Yemen

Yemen’s Houthi movement launched a ballistic missile deep into Saudi Arabia and may have also fired on a U.S. warship, two days after an apparent Saudi-led air strike killed 140 mourners at a funeral attended by powerful tribal leaders. Saturday’s air strike ripped through a wake attended by some of the country’s top political and security officials, outraging Yemeni society and potentially galvanizing powerful tribes to join the Houthis in opposing a Saudi-backed exiled government. On Monday, a Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen said it had intercepted a missile fired by the Houthis at a military base in Taif in central Saudi Arabia, striking deeper then ever before in the latest in a series of more than a dozen missile attacks. A missile was also fired at Marib in central Yemen, a base for pro-government militiamen and troops who have struggled to advance on the Houthi-controlled capital […]

Exclusive: Tankers seized in Yemen port, risking deeper import crisis

16 Sep 2016   Yemen

Authorities in a port controlled by Yemen’s Houthi movement have seized two oil tankers from international traders in a payment dispute, according to the ships’ owners, an incident which could make it more difficult for the country to import vital supplies. Ocean Tankers, the Singapore-based owner of the two 74,000 tonne ships, the Chao Hu and the Hong Ze Hu, confirmed that the vessels were being denied permission to leave the Red Sea port of Hodeida, Yemen’s second-biggest port, which is controlled by the Houthi movement that also holds the capital Sanaa. Importing goods into Yemen became a major challenge since civil war broke out in the country and a Saudi-led coalition imposed a maritime blockade in its fight against the Houthi group that drove President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from Sanaa in 2014. Hadi’s government now controls the southern port of Aden, but Sanaa and the north are in […]

Yemen’s Houthi Forces Claim Missile Hit On Saudi Aramco Oil Facilities

27 Aug 2016   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Saudi-Yemen war Yemeni Shiite Houthi rebels have reportedly fired missiles targeting Saudi Aramco, allegedly damaging the oil giant’s facilities in southwestern Saudi Arabia on Friday, according to local Houthi-affiliated media , with no confirmation from Saudi officials or Aramco itself. Yemen is the site of a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and Iranian media were the first to report on the Houthi claims coming out of Yemen. In February 2015, the Houthi rebels forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s neighbor to the north. The Shi’ite Houthis are allied with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional archrival. The international community recognizes Hadi as Yemen’s legitimate leader. Since March 2015, the Houthi rebels and loyalists to Hadi have been fighting a civil war in Yemen and forces in a Saudi-led Arab coalition are trying to restore Hadi to power. Yemen’s geographical position is strategic because it […]

Saudi Aramco Says Operating as Normal After Yemeni Attack Report

27 Aug 2016   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Yemen’s Saba said missile caused extensive damage at Aramco Saudi says projectile caused fire at a power relay facility Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil company said all of its oil, gas and refining plants are operating as normal, after Yemeni rebels said they hit facilities with a missile. All installations in the kingdom are safe, Saudi Aramco said in a statement. A projectile fired from Yemen caused a fire at a power relay facility in southern Saudi Arabia, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a spokesman for civil defense at the Ministry of Interior. The fire in Najran was put out without casualties, the report said, without giving further details. Earlier, the Yemeni Saba news agency, controlled by Houthi rebels fighting Saudi Arabian-led forces in Yemen, cited “an unidentified military source” as saying a single missile was fired into Saudi Arabia. It caused extensive damage to facilities of the […]

Saudi coalition air strikes kill most civilians in Yemen, Houthis also violate law: U.N.

25 Aug 2016   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen are responsible for the largest part of the 3,799 civilians killed so far and it has committed other violations that may contravene international law, the U.N. human rights office said on Thursday. Houthi rebels and allied forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who rule the capital Sanaa, have carried out rocket and mortar attacks on residential areas and used landmines, it said in a report. In a statement, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called for an international investigation into the grave violations, saying a national commission had not worked in pursuing perpetrators. “The cases monitored by the Office indicate that air strikes […]

America Is Complicit in the Carnage in Yemen

18 Aug 2016   Saudi Arabia, USA, Yemen

A hospital associated with Doctors Without Borders. A school. A potato chip factory. Under international law, those facilities in Yemen are not legitimate military targets. Yet all were bombed in recent days by warplanes belonging to a coalition led by Saudi Arabia , killing more than 40 civilians. The United States is complicit in this carnage. It has enabled the coalition in many ways, including selling arms to the Saudis to mollify them after the nuclear deal with Iran. Congress should put the arms sales on hold and President Obama should quietly inform Riyadh that the United States will withdraw crucial assistance if the Saudis do not stop targeting civilians and agree to negotiate peace. The airstrikes are further evidence that the Saudis have escalated their bombing campaign against Houthi militias, which control the capital, Sana, since peace talks were suspended on Aug. 6, ending a cease-fire that was […]

Yemen rebels launch missile into Saudi Arabia

31 May 2016   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have launched a missile over the border into Saudi Arabia for the first time in weeks in the latest violation of a shaky truce between the insurgents and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. Pro-Houthi television channel al-Masirah said Monday that the rebels had launched a long-range missile into Saudi territory. Saudi Arabia’s military said in a statement that several missiles had hit the Jizan border region, the first such strike in over a month, without wounding anyone. A truce between the warring parties that began April 10 has been deteriorating in recent days, with violations by both sides. The conflict in Yemen pits Shiite Houthi rebels and supporters of a former president against Yemen’s internationally recognized government, supported by a Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition.

Mukalla offensive kills 800-plus militants, Saudi Yemen coalition says

25 Apr 2016   Yemen

People inspect damage at a site hit by Saudi-led air strikes in the al Qaeda-held port of Mukalla city in southern Yemen April 24, 2016. Yemeni government forces and their allies killed more than 800 al Qaeda fighters when they advanced into the port city of Mukalla, the Saudi-led pro-government coalition said. Yemeni and Emirati soldiers seized the seaport on Sunday, depriving the group of the stronghold that has enabled it to amass a fortune during the country’s civil war. “In its first hours, the operation resulted in killing more than 800 members of al Qaeda and a number of their leaders while the rest fled,” the coalition said in a statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA late on Sunday. Local Yemeni officials and residents said on Sunday that some 2,000 Yemeni and Emirati troops advanced into Mukalla, taking control of its maritime port and airport and […]

Yemeni rebels back out of peace talks at last moment

19 Apr 2016   Yemen

Yemen’s Shiite rebels backed out of U.N.-brokered peace talks just hours before the negotiations were to start Monday in Kuwait, demanding the Saudi-led coalition abide by the weeklong cease-fire and halt airstrikes against them. Officials from the internationally-recognized government hit back and accused rebels of violating the cease-fire deal by shelling the war-torn city of Taiz. It was not immediately clear if the negotiations were completely scuttled. A statement issued on behalf of the U.N. envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, described the Kuwait talks as “delayed” and gave no details on when they might resume. “We are working to overcome the latest challenges and ask the delegations to show good faith, participate in the talks in order to reach a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Yemen,” the envoy said. […]

Saudi-led alliance confirms Yemen prisoner swap

28 Mar 2016   Yemen

A Saudi-led military coalition on Monday said it had completed a prisoner swap in Yemen, exchanging nine Saudi prisoners for 109 Yemeni nationals ahead of a planned truce and peace talks aimed at ending the year-long war with Houthi rebels.  The statement did not say which group the deal was made with, but the Iran-allied Houthi movement said on Sunday it had exchanged prisoners with its enemy Riyadh, as a first step towards ending a humanitarian crisis prompted by the conflict.  The Iran-allied Houthis are battling Yemeni government forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.

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Yemen: Cease-Fire To Begin April 10

25 Mar 2016   Yemen

A cease-fire will take hold across Yemen on April 10, and fresh peace talks with begin April 18 in Kuwait, Special Envoy of the U.N. Secretary-General for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said March 24, AFP reported. Militants aligned with the Islamic State or al Qaeda are not expected to abide by the cease-fire or take part in the formal negotiations. Even if a political deal emerges, it will not bring peace to Yemen .

Yemen: Minister Very Confident About Start Of Peace Talks

23 Mar 2016   Yemen

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalik al-Mekhlafi said March 22 that he was 99 percent sure that U.N-backed peace talks to end Yemen’s civil war would take place in Kuwait by the end of March, AFP reported. More than 6,300 people have died in Yemen’s conflict, which pits forces loyal to President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi and backed by a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-backed Houthi rebels and their allies loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Several recent developments suggest that the conflict between Yemen’s former and current presidents and the Shiite Houthi rebels may be drawing to a close. But even if a political deal emerges, it will not bring peace to Yemen .

Yemen war: Saudi coalition ‘causing most civilian casualties’

19 Mar 2016   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Image caption Thousands of civilians have been killed or injured in the conflict The UN human rights chief has accused the Saudi-led coalition of causing twice as many civilian casualties as all the other forces fighting in Yemen. Zeid Raad Al Hussein condemned “the repeated failure” of the coalition to prevent deadly incidents. He said air strikes had caused almost all the coalition’s civilian casualties. More than 6,000 people, about half of them civilians, have been killed since Saudi Arabia launched a multi-national campaign against rebels in March 2015. Saudi Arabia has denied causing large-scale civilian deaths, saying it is making every effort to avoid hitting civilian targets. Mr Hussein’s comments come three days after some 106 civilians were killed in what medics and witnesses said was an air strike on a market in Mastaba, north-west Yemen, in one of the deadliest incidents of the war. The UN said […]

Saudi envoy: Aid groups in Yemen urged to ‘be careful’

13 Feb 2016   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative in Geneva says his country sent letters to the U.N. humanitarian agency chief calling on aid groups to “be careful” to avoid damage from air strikes led by the Saudi-led coalition in war-torn Yemen. Ambassador Faisal Bin Hassan Trad cited one Saudi letter to OCHA chief Stephen O’Brien which said the coalition’s request for caution “in no way can be misinterpreted to indicate any hindrance to humanitarian access and the delivery of the humanitarian assistance in Yemen.” Trad told reporters Friday: “We did not tell anyone to leave anyplace. We told them, ‘Please be careful. Do not be near … legitimate targets, military targets.'” The U.N. estimates over 5,800 people have died in Yemen’s conflict between Shiite rebels and the internationally-backed government.

Airstrike at Yemen Cement Factory Said to Kill at Least 15

4 Feb 2016   Yemen

An airstrike by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia hit a cement factory north of Sana, Yemen ’s capital, on Wednesday evening, killing at least 15 people, including civilian workers in nearby businesses, according to local security and medical officials. The bombing of the factory, in Amran Province, came days after Saudi officials pledged to form a high-level committee to investigate strikes in Yemen ’s civil war that have killed civilians, and to improve their military’s aerial targeting with advice from American and British experts. The coalition has been fighting since March on behalf of Yemen’s exiled government to defeat a rebel movement from the north known as the Houthis. The coalition bombing campaign has intensified throughout northern Yemen over the last two months, since the breakdown of negotiations to end the civil war, and as anti-Houthi forces have mounted an offensive aimed at capturing […]

Saudi Arabia Forms Group to Investigate Yemen Airstrike Claims

1 Feb 2016   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Saudi Arabia on Sunday announced the formation of an independent group to investigate claims of airstrikes that have led to civilian deaths in Yemen , where the kingdom has led a military coalition fighting against Houthi rebels since March 2015. The coalition said it “deeply regrets the death of civilian victims in Yemen,” adding that it takes all precautions to protect them as well as medical staff, humanitarian organizations, relief agencies, journalists and media workers. The investigation group will comprise “senior officers, military advisers and experts in the field of weapons and international humanitarian law to assess accidents and verification procedures, and the mechanism of targeting and how it can be developed,” the Saudi-led coalition said in a statement. The team will come out with a “clear, full and objective” report for each case, including conclusions and lessons learned and recommendations for future actions to be taken. […]

Saudi-Led War in Yemen Frays Ties With the U.S.

23 Dec 2015   Yemen

The United States on Tuesday sponsored a United Nations Security Council session intended to draw attention to the dire consequences of the war in Yemen , but the meeting also raised questions about potential crimes committed by a Saudi-led military offensive that the Pentagon actively supports. The United States refuels military jets and provides intelligence support to the military coalition, led by Saudi Arabia , that is trying to defeat Houthi insurgents in Yemen. Since those airstrikes began in March, more than 2,700 civilians have been killed, dozens of schools and hospitals have been attacked and the United Nations has warned of breaches of international law. But during the session on Tuesday, the United Nations’ top human rights official said that the Saudi-led coalition bore the greatest responsibility for the civilian carnage. The official, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, said that while […]

Yemen rebels halt peace talks in Switzerland amid continued gov’t strikes

19 Dec 2015   Yemen

Yemeni peace talks in Switzerland were halted Friday after the country’s Shia Houthi rebel delegation suspended all meetings with the internationally recognized government in protest at its cease-fire violations, members of Yemen’s two warring sides said. The Houthis said they would not resume talks unless the U.N. condemned government breaches of the week-long truce aimed at stalling the war in Yemen , the delegates said. Houthi fighters have also ignored the cease-fire agreement. Click here for more coverage of the war in Yemen. But the United Nations, which is mediating the talks, cast doubts on the alleged suspension. “We don’t have confirmation of any suspension,” the deputy spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, Farhan Haq, said. He said the U.N. special envoy for the country, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, “remains in touch with the parties.” The U.N. has urged factions to end the violence and is pressing to keep the […]

Saudi, Emirati officers killed in fighting in Yemen

14 Dec 2015   Yemen

Saudi and Emirati authorities say two senior officers from a Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government have been killed near the city of Taiz. The official Saudi Press Agency said Saudi Col. Abdullah Mohammed al-Sahyan and Emirati officer Sultan Mohammed Ali al-Ketbi were killed Monday morning. The Emirati state news agency WAM separately confirmed al-Ketbi’s death. Neither agency said how they were killed. The Saudi-led coalition is backing fighters loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi as they attempt to roll back gains by Shiite rebels who have controlled the capital Sanaa since September last year. The two sides agreed Saturday to start a weeklong ceasefire at five minutes before midnight on Monday, ahead of direct talks in Geneva this week.

U.S. Approves Sale of Smart Bombs to Saudi Arabia

17 Nov 2015   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of $1.29 billion in smart bombs to Saudi Arabia to help replenish supplies used in its battle against insurgents in Yemen and air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, the Pentagon said on Monday. The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which facilitates foreign arms sales, notified lawmakers on Friday that the sales had been approved, it said in a statement. The lawmakers now have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare since deals are carefully vetted before any formal notification. The sales reflect President Barack Obama’s pledge to bolster U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia and other Sunni allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council after his administration brokered a nuclear deal with their Shiite rival Iran. The agency said the sale would help the Royal Saudi Air Force’s (RSAF) replenish weapons supplies that are becoming depleted […]

Yemen is turning into Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam

14 Nov 2015   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Eight months after launching a war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia appears trapped in a protracted and devastating conflict that is straining relations with its allies, intensifying internal power struggles and emboldening its regional rival, Iran, analysts say. Since March, the key U.S. ally has led a coalition of mostly Gulf Arab countries and Yemeni fighters in a military campaign to drive out Iranian-aligned rebels who seized the capital, Sanaa, and swaths of the Arabian Peninsula country. But the coalition appears increasingly hobbled by divisions and unable to find a face-saving way to end the costly conflict. The rebels, known as Houthis, still control much of Yemen’s north. And in southern areas where the coalition has driven them out, lawlessness has spread as attacks […]

New cyclone heading for Yemen: UN

7 Nov 2015   Yemen

The UN weather agency warned Friday that another rare cyclone was heading towards war-ravaged Yemen which would bring more rain to areas already badly battered by cyclone Chapala. The new storm, named Megh, is brewing in the Arabian Sea and is expected to intensify into “a severe cyclonic storm” over the next 24 hours, with wind speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said. Megh is not as powerful a Chapala, which killed eight people in southeastern Yemen this week, but is expected to slam into or pass close to the country’s already badly hit Arabian Sea island of Socotra on Sunday, WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis told AFP. From Socotra, the storm is expected to weaken into a low pressure […]

Saudis Seek to Fend Off U.N. Inquiry on Yemen

25 Sep 2015   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

As Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies pressed their military offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen , Saudi diplomats were waging their own battle to fend off calls in the United Nations Human Rights Council for an international inquiry into abuses by all parties to the Yemeni conflict. Those calls came in a council resolution submitted Thursday by the Netherlands , with support from a group of mainly Western countries, that requests the United Nations high commissioner for human rights send a mission to Yemen. The Dutch resolution draws on deepening international alarm over the civilian toll inflicted by both sides in the conflict and the effect of a blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition that has delayed delivery of humanitarian aid, including medicine and the fuel needed to keep the dwindling number of hospitals operating. At least 1,527 civilians were killed and an additional 3,548 injured […]

Saudi-led offensive in Yemen faces dangerous new phase

9 Sep 2015   Yemen

When young garage mechanic Aidaroos Saleh heard the familiar ping of his smartphone, he could never have imagined the journey on which the incoming message would take him. In a matter of weeks, Saleh, 22, went from fixing cars in his adopted country of Saudi Arabia to the battle front of his southern Yemen homeland. The message was an official communication, a call to arms for Yemenis in Saudi Arabia to join a fighting force that would “defend Aden” — the southern Yemeni city that descended into civil war in mid-March. Four months after he responded to the message in April, the young fighter sat cradling an AK-47 assault rifle between his […]

Coalition strikes Yemen capital, more foreign troops reported arriving

9 Sep 2015   Yemen

A Saudi-led alliance launched more air strikes on Yemen’s capital and more foreign troops were reported to be moving into the country as the campaign to rout Houthi forces intensified. The Houthi-run state news agency Saba said that 15 citizens were killed and 77 were wounded in the attacks by warplanes on Sanaa. Medical sources said at least 15 civilians were killed in similar attacks on Monday. It was not immediately possible to independently verify the figures. The alliance, made up mainly of Gulf Arab countries, has increased air strikes on Sanaa and other parts of the country since Friday, when a Houthi missile attack killed at least 60 Saudi, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates soldiers at a military camp east of Sanaa. They were part of a force preparing to assault the capital, which the Iranian-allied Houthis seized last September. Friday’s attack was the deadliest yet for Gulf […]

Gulf Arabs Expand Yemen Ground War as More Troops Enter Country

7 Sep 2015   Yemen

The city Sana’a in Yemen Gulf Arab nations are expanding the ground war in Yemen, pouring more troops into the country to defeat Houthi rebels they say are backed by regional rival Iran. About 1,000 troops from Qatar entered the country on Sunday from the Wadia post on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera television reported. The soldiers, backed by armored vehicles, missiles and missile launchers, were headed to the oil-rich central Marib province, Al Jazeera said, citing its corresponding at the border. The reinforcements arrived after 45 troops from the United Arab Emirates and 10 Saudi soldiers were killed in Marib on Friday in the worst setback for the coalition since the Saudi-led military campaign started in March. Bahrain, another member of the coalition, said five of its soldiers were also killed defending Saudi Arabia’s southern border. Expanding the ground war carries a “huge risk […]

Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen ramp up as allies push north

25 Aug 2015   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen doubled its near-daily airstrikes Monday in the central province of Marib and the adjacent border area of Jawf, in order to allow allies on the ground to push north toward insurgent strongholds, authorities said. Marib’s pro-government forces also received major reinforcements, including hundreds of Saudi-trained troops, ambulances and armored personnel carriers manned by Saudi and Emirati soldiers, pro-government officials said. The forces aim to take Saada, the main northern stronghold of the Houthi rebels, they added. Yemen’s conflict pits the Iran-allied Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against an array of forces including southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants as well as troops loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Pro-government forces recently pushed the Houthis out of several key southern areas. Meanwhile, in Yemen’s third-largest city, […]

Al Qaeda Fighters Try to Seize Yemeni Military Base in Aden

24 Aug 2015   Yemen

Dozens of fighters belonging to Al Qaeda ’s Yemeni affiliate briefly tried to seize control of a military base and the presidential palace in the port city of Aden before suddenly withdrawing on Sunday, according to local fighters and a senior military official in the city. By Sunday afternoon, there were no signs of Qaeda militants in Tawahi, the neighborhood surrounding the palace. But their appearance, however fleeting, was an embarrassing setback for the exiled government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which had described its success in securing Aden as a major victory in its war with the Houthi rebels. The government, which is backed by […]

Yemen conflict: Country on brink of famine, says UN official

20 Aug 2015   Yemen

More than 21 million people in Yemen are in need of help, according to the UN Months of conflict in Yemen has pushed the country to the brink of famine, according to a top United Nations official. Ertharin Cousin, head of the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), said markets in the country do not have enough food to feed the population. Aid agencies are also unable to reach areas of need because of the ongoing violence, she added. The WFP estimates that nearly 13 million people urgently require help. The conflict has involved Houthi rebel fighters clashing in many places with forces loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and its allies. ‘Perfect storm’ Ms Cousin, who was speaking in Cairo after a three-day trip to Yemen, said fighting around the major ports is stalling deliveries of aid. She said Yemen faced the “perfect storm” because those people most in […]

Saudi-led coalition bombs Yemen ‘aid port’ Hodeida

18 Aug 2015   Yemen

Jets from a Saudi-led coalition targeted rebel Houthi positions in Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeida early on Tuesday, port officials said, destroying cranes and warehouses at a main import hub for critical aid supplies to the country’s north. There were also clashes further south overnight in Yemen’s third city, Taiz, Arab television stations reported, as local groups opposed to the Houthis attempted to consolidate recent advances to take the city. As well as retaining a foothold in Taiz, the Houthis and allied army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh control the northern highlands and Red Sea coastal plain as far south as Ibb, where coalition-backed forces advanced last week. Ibb is around 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Taiz and 200 kilometers southeast of Hodeida. The port, which lies almost due west of the capital Sanaa, has become a focal point of Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, which […]

Lack of Pause in Yemen War Delays Aid

28 Jul 2015   Yemen

A pledge by Saudi Arabia to halt its military operations in Yemen failed to stop ferocious fighting across the country on Monday as a humanitarian aid group warned that more than six million people were facing starvation because of the war. Saudi Arabia, which leads an Arab military coalition that has been fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels since March, said Saturday that it would pause its military operations for five days to allow for the delivery of humanitarian relief supplies. But there was no sign of a letup in the violence on Monday, dashing hopes that the Saudi declaration would lead even briefly to a broader truce. The Houthis and their allies fought to advance in several provinces, shelling the southern port city of Aden and firing rockets across the Saudi border, according to local military officials and Houthi media […]

At least 55 killed as Saudi-led warplanes hit Yemen’s Taiz: Saba

25 Jul 2015   Yemen

A Saudi-led airstrike on Yemen’s Taiz killed at least 55 people and left tens injured, Houthi-controlled news agency Saba said on Saturday. A coalition of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, has been bombarding Iran-allied Houthi forces in Yemen since late March in a bid to reinstate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has fled to Riyadh. The Saba agency quoted a local source in Taiz as saying that the bombing targeted the Mokha area inhabited mostly by engineers and workers of a power station and some displaced families. The number of casualties is expected to rise as rescue services are still working in the area and several of those injured and transferred to nearby hospitals are in serious […]

Anti-Houthi forces advance in Yemen amid heavy Arab air strikes

18 Jul 2015   Yemen

Local fighters and army forces in Yemen have wrested two military bases from Houthi forces overnight, residents and officials said, building on a week of gains against the country’s dominant faction. The advances come a day after Yemen’s government in exile declared the key southern city of Aden “liberated,” in their biggest victory yet in a Saudi-led air campaign and civil war that has raged almost four months and killed more than 3,500 people. Saudi-backed Yemeni forces backed up by air strikes seized the Labuza army base in Lahj province north of the port city and the headquarters of the 117th armored division in eastern Shabwa province some 230km (145 miles) away. Officials in the anti-Houthi forces say the offensive was planned for […]

Saudi-Backed Forces Said to Wrest Aden, Yemen, From Houthis

18 Jul 2015   Yemen

The exiled prime minister of Yemen said early Friday that Saudi-backed forces in Aden had “completely liberated” the southern city from the Houthi rebels who have been fighting to control it for nearly four months. The prime minister, Khaled Bahah, writing on Facebook, called it a “historic moment” and said his government would turn its attention to repairing the devastation in Aden and driving the Houthis from other areas of Yemen. Security officials and witnesses in Aden said that clashes were continuing in several areas on Friday, and that the Houthis retained at least partial control of at least one district. The rapid advances by the Saudi-backed forces in the city over the past few days appeared hard to reverse, however, signaling the first significant defeat for the Houthis and their allies. Mr. Bahah’s government, led by President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, fled to Saudi Arabia in […]

Yemen fuel shortages could kill more than ‘bullets or bombs’ as truce ignored

16 Jul 2015   Yemen

Aden: Fuel shortages in war-torn Yemen could cause more deaths than the continuing conflict, which rages on three days after the start of a UN-brokered humanitarian truce, an international aid agency said on Tuesday. The lack of fuel, caused by fighting and restrictions on imports, has affected food deliveries, water supplies and health services for most of Yemen’s population, according to Oxfam. A Saudi-led Arab coalition has been bombarding the Iranian-allied Al Houthi rebel movement — Yemen’s dominant force — since late March in a bid to reinstate exiled President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who has fled to Riyadh. A week-long pause in the fighting was meant to have started on Saturday to allow aid deliveries, but the Saudi-led alliance said it had not been asked by President Hadi, in whose name it is acting, to stop its raids. “In Yemen, fuel is critical,” Oxfam country director for Yemen […]

Yemen Rebels Attack Oil Refinery in Aden Threatening Supplies

14 Jul 2015   Yemen

An attack by Yemeni Houthi rebels on an oil refinery in the port city of Aden has sparked a fire at a storage tank that may spread, threatening supplies, said Naser Shaif, a spokesman for the Aden Oil Refinery Co.  The missile attack that hit the refinery, which is under the control of pro-government fighters, on Monday set off a “very serious” blaze that may reach another 100 storage tanks holding 1.2 million tons of oil and fuels, Shaif said by phone.  A coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been conducting air strikes in Yemen targeting the Shiite rebels since March after the group ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. While the Saudi military intervention in the conflict hasn’t succeeded in reversing gains by the rebels, who control the capital, Sana’a, the government-in-exile has allied with fighters in Aden.

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Saudi-led air raids in Yemen kill 21 two days into truce

13 Jul 2015   Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Saudi-led air raids killed 21 civilians in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Monday morning, relatives of the victims and medics told Reuters, two days after the start of a United Nations-brokered humanitarian truce that Riyadh does not recognize. “Three missiles targeted the neighborhood, destroying 15 houses and killing 21 people and wounding 45 others,” said a resident. A Saudi-led Arab coalition has been bombing the Houthi militia and army forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh since March 26, aiming to push them back from southern and central areas and restore the country’s exiled government. The Houthis, who are allied to Riyadh’s main regional rival Iran, advanced from their northern stronghold a year ago, capturing the capital Sanaa in September and then pushing south early this year, prompting the Saudi-led airstrikes. More than 3,000 people have been killed in the fighting and air strikes so far, amplifying an existing […]

Bombing and heavy fighting rock Yemen despite truce

11 Jul 2015   Yemen

Saudi-led air strikes and heavy shelling between warring factions shook several cities in Yemen on Saturday, residents said, violating a United Nations humanitarian truce which took effect just before midnight. The U.N.-brokered pause in the fighting was meant to last a week to allow aid deliveries to the country’s 21 million people who have endured over three months of bombing and civil war. A coalition of Arab states has been bombing the Iranian-allied Houthi rebel movement – Yemen’s dominant force – since late March in a bid to restore to power President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has fled to Riyadh. Air raids pounded Houthi and Yemeni army units in the capital Sanaa and in the embattled southern cities of Taiz and Aden, where residents also reported intense artillery exchanges between the fighters and local militiamen. In Aden, one of the country’s most deprived and war-torn areas, witnesses said Houthi […]

Deadly car bombs hit Yemen, day after almost 200 killed

8 Jul 2015   Yemen

Two deadly car bombs hit the capital Sanaa and a southern city in Yemen on Tuesday, state news agency Saba reported, a day after air strike and clashes killed almost 200 people nationwide. Islamic State in Yemen claimed responsibility in a statement posted online for the Sanaa attack, latest in a string of recent actions by the hardline Sunni Muslim group against Shi’ite Houthis who run the capital. One of the explosives-laden cars detonated near a hospital in downtown Sanaa, which the news agency controlled by Yemen’s dominant Houthi group said killed and injured “numerous” people, while another killed around 10 people in al-Bayda, capital of a province in the country’s battle-weary south. Saudi-led coalition air strikes and clashes killed at least 176 fighters and civilians in Yemen on Monday, residents and media run by the Houthi movement said, the highest daily toll since the Arab air offensive began […]

Yemen Mediator Optimistic as Humanitarian Crisis Worsens

20 Jun 2015   Yemen

The United Nations mediator for Yemen peace talks said on Friday that four days of discussions had ended with no agreement for even a brief pause in fighting, but that he remained “optimistic,” as aid agencies warned that the humanitarian crisis enveloping the country had worsened. “We feel it requires further consultation and we can achieve it pretty soon,” said the mediator, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed , a Mauritanian diplomat, at a news conference in Geneva, broadcast on the United Nations website. “I remain optimistic.” Yemen has been pummeled by Saudi-led airstrikes since late March, after Houthi rebels from the north drove the sitting president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour […]