Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.


Middle East & North Africa


Houthi attacks on shipping intensified amid continued U.S.-UK airstrikes, while local mediators negotiated reopening of key road in Taiz governorate. 

Houthis sank second ship since start of Red Sea attacks; U.S.-UK airstrikes continued. After hitting two commercial vessels in Gulf of Aden 9 June, Houthi missiles 12 June struck Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned vessel, which sank 19 June, killing one; 13 June struck Palau-flagged ship, injuring one crew member. Houthis 3 June launched new solid-fuel missile at Israeli city Eilat; 6 June claimed first coordinated attacks on Israel with Iran-backed Islamic Resistance in Iraq, with drone strikes on port of Haifa; 12, 23, 26 June claimed more joint operations against Israel. Meanwhile, six U.S. airstrikes 17 June hit Hodeida airport and four targeted Kamran Island near Salif port for first time. Intensification of airstrikes since late May highlight failure of Oman-facilitated talks between Houthis and U.S. and increasing concerns over Houthis’ deployment of unmanned boats. UN Security Council 27 June passed resolution demanding Houthis halt attacks on shipping.

Sanaa-Taiz road reopened after ten-year closure. Local mediators 13 Jun negotiated reopening of crucial Sanaa-Taiz road on frontlines between Houthis and govt forces. Houthis agreed to reopening in likely bid to address local discontent and improve financial situation following govt’s banking sector freeze in Houthi-controlled areas.

Houthis detained scores of aid workers. Houthis 6-7 June detained around 60 employees from UN agencies and various local and international NGOs in Sanaa, Hodeida, Saada and Amran cities, over accusations of spying for U.S. and other Western countries. Crackdown comes amid heightened tensions with U.S. over Red Sea attacks and after some aid organisations, including World Food Programme, suspended aid to Houthi-controlled areas. Detentions could lead to closure of more aid organisations in northern Yemen, further exacerbating humanitarian plight.

Houthis and Southern Transitional Council (STC) clashed in Lahj. Houthis in May-June reinforced military presence in Lahj governorate amid fears that local forces could receive U.S. support to push them back from Red Sea coast, and 5 June launched attack on STC forces on frontline between Lahj and Taiz governorates, triggering clashes that killed 18 on both sides.

Middle East & North Africa


Houthis announced fourth phase of escalation in Red Sea crisis, while military build-up and clashes with govt forces along frontlines in Marib and Sana’a provinces pointed to possible offensive and escalation.

Houthis announced new phase of strikes on international shipping. Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi 2 May announced new round of attacks on international shipping, citing Israeli and U.S. “intransigence” (see Israel/Palestine); group next day said Houthis would target ships heading to Israel regardless of their nationality, including in Indian Ocean and Mediterranean, potentially threatening alternative Cape of Good Hope route used by shipping companies. Houthis 18 May struck Panama-flagged, Greek-owned oil tanker in Red Sea. Meanwhile, U.S. and UK continued strikes on Houthi targets: notably, 2 May reportedly targeted Houthi-controlled Hodeida airport. Houthis 17 May claimed downing U.S. drone over Marib province and 21 May claimed destroying another over al-Bayda province. Houthis 27 May announced missile attacks on three commercial ships and two U.S. destroyers in Indian Ocean and Red Sea; U.S. said group fired five anti-ship ballistic missiles. U.S. and UK forces 30 May struck thirteen Houthi targets in three areas of Hodeida; Houthis claimed attacks killed sixteen.

In north, Houthi and govt forces clashed in Marib. Despite de facto truce, Giants Brigades (aligned with govt) and Houthis 17 March clashed on southern Marib governorate front following Houthi attacks on govt forces in Marib’s Harib district; both sides sent reinforcements to consolidate positions, including districts in Sana’a governorate bordering Marib. Govt forces are preparing for Houthi offensive that may seek to seize oil sites in Marib to address economic hardship facing group and pre-empt potential U.S./Western support to govt forces as Red Sea crisis persists.

In south, Southern Transitional Council (STC) clashed with Houthis and Al-Qaeda. STC 18 May accused Houthis of launching drone attack on STC military position in Abyan province. STC and Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula 11, 16 and 17 May clashed.

In Aden, security forces cracked down on protesters. Govt security forces 13-14 May cracked down on hundreds of demonstrators protesting electricity cuts in Aden city, 15 May deployed armoured vehicles across city. 

Middle East & North Africa


Red Sea crisis continued amid ongoing Houthi attacks and U.S.-UK airstrikes, clashes erupted between Houthis and govt-aligned forces in south, and new Houthi currency widened economic fault lines.

Houthis targeted international shipping in adjacent waters. Houthis continued attacks on international shipping in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden: notably, Houthis 7 April claimed targeting two Israeli ships, UK ship and number of U.S. frigates over 72-hour period; 10 April claimed targeting four vessels, including U.S. warship; 24 April said it targeted U.S. and Israeli ships; 29 April fired three missiles at vessel in Red Sea. Group 26 April launched drone attack targeting vessel some 600km off coast in Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean, in first confirmed assault at such range. In response, U.S. 1 April destroyed unmanned surface vessel, throughout April shot down Houthi armed drones, while U.S. and UK airstrikes 1 April targeted Houthi locations in Hodeida province and capital Sanaa; Houthis 8 April reported that U.S. airstrike injured civilian in Hodeida governorate. U.S. and UK 15 April reportedly conducted airstrikes in Taiz governorate. Israel’s repeated threats to launch ground invasion in Gaza’s Rafah city could prompt Houthis to escalate maritime attacks (see Israel-Palestine).

In south, hostilities broke out between Houthis and rival forces. Clashes between Houthis and separatist Southern Transitional Council, part of internationally-recognised Presidential Leadership Council (PLC), late March erupted along Karsh front in Lahj governorate, reflecting increasing tensions on western coast where Houthis are attempting to consolidate positions near Mocha city and Bab al-Mandeb Strait to forestall possible ground operations against them. Houthis 3 April reportedly attacked forces of PLC, allegedly killing eleven fighters. Houthi drone 12 April reportedly killed at least three. Houthis 20 April announced clashes with govt forces killed four Houthi officers. Shelling 26 April killed three women and two girls in Taiz’s Maqbna district; govt and Houthis exchanged accusations over incident.

Houthis launched new currency, escalating economic war with govt. Houthi-controlled Central Bank in capital Sanaa late March issued new metal 100 riyal coin in Houthi-governed areas in north to replace damaged banknotes; move is expected to exacerbate financial divide with PLC-controlled Aden Central Bank and lead to further devaluation of riyal.

Middle East & North Africa


Houthis caused first fatalities in attacks on international shipping amid ongoing U.S-UK airstrikes; Houthi bombing in al-Bayda killed civilians, sparking protests, while local mediation sought to reopen roads.

In Gulf of Aden, Houthi attacks caused first fatalities as group vowed wider strikes. In Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, Houthis continued attacks targeting merchant vessels as well as U.S. and UK warships, 5 March vowing more “painful” attacks and 14 March announcing targeting of shipping in Indian Ocean. Notably, Houthi missile strike 6 March killed three crew members on Barbados-flagged ship in Gulf of Aden. U.S. and UK continued strikes on Houthi targets; notably, 11 March conductedsix airstrikes and 27 March struck Saada province. In rare engagement, Houthi and Hamas representatives 15 March met in Lebanon’s capital Beirut to discuss coordinating actions in Red Sea, while reports circulated of secret U.S.-Iran talks held in Jan in Oman’s capital Muscat to de-escalate Houthi attacks. EU naval mission in Red Sea began operations: notably, Italian destroyer 2 and 12 March intercepted Houthi attacks. Houthis 19 March announced launching missiles at Israeli city Eilat, which for first time hit open ground near city. Bloomberg 21 March reported that China and Russia agreed safe passage for their ships through Red Sea in exchange for “political support” for Houthis. 

Houthi bombing in centre tarnished growing popularity. Houthis 19 March bombed residential buildings in Radea district, al-Bayda governorate, allegedly in retaliation for ambush, reportedly killing twelve and sparking protests. Houthi-run Interior Ministry next day condemned bombing as individual act; attack negatively impacted Houthis’ popularity for their stance on Gaza war, and may provoke tribal retaliation. 

Local bid to open roads during Ramadan made modest progress. In sign of growing public dissatisfaction with roads closed since 2015, media, tribal leaders and activists called for reopening of roads during Muslim holy month Ramadan. After Marib governor late Feb opened Marib-Sana’a road and called on Houthis to do same, Houthis refused, suggesting opening Sana’a-Khwalan-Marib road instead. Renewed clashes 12 March suspended mediation between Houthis and Southern Transitional Council to reopen al-Dhale-Ibb road. 

Middle East & North Africa


Undeterred by U.S.-UK bombing campaign, Houthis continued attacks on international shipping as hostilities could escalate further in coming weeks; military build-up along frontlines threatened return to war between Houthis and govt forces.

Houthis could step up maritime attacks despite U.S.-UK airstrikes. Houthis launched near-daily attacks on shipping in Red Sea, expanding into Gulf of Aden, signalling ineffectiveness of U.S.-UK bombing campaign. Notably, U.S. and UK 3 Feb struck at least 36 Houthi targets in thirteen locations and 11 Feb struck Houthi weapons systems in Salif port, north of Hodeida city; 13 Feb expanded airstrikes to Hajjah province. Houthis 18 Feb attacked Belize-flagged and UK-registered vessel in Gulf of Aden loaded with 41,000 tons of fertilizer, which is critically endangered and poses substantial threat of environmental catastrophe if ship sinks. EU 19 Feb officially launched Red Sea maritime mission to ensure “freedom of navigation”, which Houthis may target when mission becomes operational; Houthi leader 29 Feb threatened military “surprises” in upcoming Red Sea operations.

Military build-up raised spectre of escalation in Marib, Shabwa, Taiz. Houthis reinforced forces along several frontlines, while govt forces showcased preparedness to confront Houthis, seeking assistance from U.S. and others impacted by Houthi maritime actions. Notably, Houthi artillery 15 Feb targeted Al-Miriyah area in Al-Dhale province. Bomb targeting separatist Southern Transitional Council leader next day killed two in Aden. Houthis 17 Feb killed three govt soldiers in Saada province; 19 Feb attacked military site in Taiz province. Risk of wider ground fighting loomed as Houthis may initiate new major offensive, particularly if external actors provide support to anti-Houthi groups.

UN continued efforts to avoid peace process derailing. UN Envoy Hans Grundberg met local and regional leaders during Feb in effort to keep peace process alive, including Iranian, Saudi Arabian and Emirati officials as well as Presidential Leadership Council VP Aiderous al-Zubaidi and Chairman al-Alimi and leader of National Resistance Forces Tareq Saleh in Mocha city.

In another important development. U.S. designation of Houthis as Global Terrorist organisation 16 Feb came into effect amid increasing food prices and suspension of operations by World Food Program in Houthi-controlled areas, and rising inflation in govt-controlled areas.

Middle East & North Africa


U.S. and UK began bombing campaign against Houthis, risking wider escalation, as U.S. “terrorist” designation of group could compound humanitarian crisis and hamper peace process; frontlines displayed signs of possible renewed conflict.

U.S. and UK launched anti-Houthi airstrikes. In major escalation, U.S. and UK 11 Jan launched airstrikes against dozens of Houthi targets in Sanaa, Sa’adah, Taiz, Hajjah and Hodeida governorates, and 13-14, 16-202224, 27 and 31 Jan struck locations in Hodeida, Taiz, Dhamar, al-Bayda, and Sa’adah governorates, citing Houthi attacks on international shipping. Houthis remained defiant, as strikes appeared to inflict limited damage on group’s capabilities or morale and proved counterproductive: Houthis 1517 Jan struck U.S.-operated ships in Gulf of Aden and vowed further action, raising prospect that attacks from both sides could escalate in coming weeks.

U.S. re-designated Houthis terrorist organisation. After removing group from “Foreign Terrorist Organisation” list in Feb 2021, U.S. 17 Jan designated Houthis “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”, citing need to impede funding. Designation may hamper international response to humanitarian crisis, further complicate peace talks between Riyadh and Houthis and dampen prospects of dialogue with other conflict actors.

Local fighting escalated in several regions, threatening to upend de facto truce. Houthi shelling 12 Jan killed two govt soldiers in Hodeida governorate. Houthi drone 14 Jan targeted Shabwa Defence Forces in Marib governorate, killing two soldiers. Houthis next day attacked border guards in al-Jawf governorate, killing two. Giants Brigade 23 Jan claimed it repelled Houthi offensive in Bayhan town, Shabwa, causing casualties. Risk of wider ground fighting along frontlines loomed as Houthis may initiate new major offensive, particularly if U.S. and UK provide support to anti-Houthi groups.

Eastern leaders formed new group; regional proxy competition continued. In move seen as countering separatist Southern Transitional Council’s attempts to assert control in east, prominent local leaders in eastern governorates (Hadramawt, al-Mahra, Shebwa and Socotra) 9 Jan announced formation of single entity to counter external influence and advocate equal representation in any political settlement. Highlighting competition between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates-backed Hadhrami Elite Forces 16 Jan blocked entry of Saudi-backed Nation Shield Forces into Mukalla city.

Middle East & North Africa


In escalation in Red Sea, U.S. killed ten Houthi militants attempting to board commercial ship as group’s drones targeted Israel; Yemen’s warring parties agreed steps toward peace process under UN auspices.

U.S. took first military action to rebuff Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping. After Houthis in Nov threatened to target any ship travelling to or from Israel unless food and medicine are allowed into Gaza (see Israel-Palestine), Houthi attacks on shipping since 19 Nov reached at least two dozen as of 31 Dec, according to U.S. forces. Notably, Houthi missiles and drones 3, 11, 15, 18 Dec struck ships in Red Sea; Houthis 15 Dec launched drones toward Israeli city Eilat; Egypt next day intercepted suspected Houthi drone off Red Sea coast. International naval presence grew: French navy 9 Dec shot down two alleged Houthi drones; UK navy 15 Dec downed drone; U.S. navy 16 Dec intercepted fourteen drones originating from Houthi-controlled territory and 30 Dec intercepted two missiles targeting container ship. U.S. 19 Dec announced maritime task force to protect shipping; Iran’s defence minister 14 Dec warned task force would face “extraordinary problems”. In significant escalation that may reset rules of engagement, U.S. navy helicopters 31 Dec fired on small boats carrying Houthis attempting to board container ship, killing ten; UK and U.S. vowed more action if necessary, underscoring risk of further hostilities that could broaden Gaza war.

Govt and Houthis committed to steps toward ceasefire and UN-led peace process. UN Envoy Hans Grundberg 23 Dec announced govt and Houthis committed to steps toward ceasefire, including resumption of oil exports, opening of roads in Taiz and easing restrictions on Sanaa airport and Hodeida port, and said parties would work toward roadmap under UN auspices. Announcement came after Houthis and Saudi-led coalition late Nov finalised draft deal addressing humanitarian issues, including Riyadh’s commitment to pay public sector salaries for one year.

In other important developments. U.S. 8 Dec imposed sanctions on thirteen individuals and entities accused of financing Houthis. World Food Programme 5 Dec suspended food aid in Houthi-controlled areas due to limited funding and disagreement with local authorities.

Middle East & North Africa


Saudi-Houthi dialogue appeared to gather steam, while Houthi rebels launched attack in Marib governorate, fortified presence in southwest and attacked Israeli and U.S. targets in Red Sea.

Houthi-Saudi talks continued, boosted by Saudi-Iranian communication. Houthi delegation early month reportedly visited Saudi capital Riyadh – in second such visit in 2023 – to discuss technical details of deal on humanitarian issues, including salary payments. Saudi defence minister 15 Nov met Presidential Leadership Council members in Riyadh for update on talks. Dialogue appeared to benefit from increased engagement between Riyadh and Iran: notably, Iran’s President Raisi 11 Nov met Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh (see Saudi Arabia).

Houthis launched attack in centre, strengthened presence in Taiz, Hodeida and Al-Dhale governorates. Houthis 6-7 Nov launched attack on govt position in Alkassara area, northwestern Marib, triggering clashes that killed eight govt soldiers and injured 17. Govt’s Army Chief of Staff 7 Nov survived assassination attempt in Marib governorate that Ministry of Defence blamed on Houthis. Following recruitment drive fuelled by resentment over Israel’s campaign in Gaza (see Israel-Palestine), Houthis fortified military presence in Taiz and Hodeida governorates near strategic Bab al-Mandab strait; Houthis reportedly installed ballistic missile launch pads in Hodeida. In Al-Dhale governorate, Houthis 12 Nov launched attacks targeting Southern Transitional Council forces in Mount Satah Bab Ghalaq; group escalated activity north of Al-Dhale, 12 Nov launching drone strikes on Habil Al-Abdi district.

Houthis continued to take aim at Israeli and U.S. targets. Houthis 6, 9, 13, 14 Nov claimed drone and ballistic missile attacks on Israeli targets. Group 8 Nov shot down U.S. drone. Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi 14 Nov vowed to continue attacks on Israel and Israeli ships in Red Sea. U.S. officials 15 Nov reported intercepting drone originating in Yemen in Red Sea. Houthis 19 Nov hijacked ship in Red Sea partially owned by Israeli businessperson and declared all Israel-linked vessels “legitimate target”. U.S. officials said two ballistic missiles were launched 27 Nov from Houthi-controlled areas towards general location of U.S. warship in Red Sea. U.S. Navy 29 Nov shot down drone launched from Houthi-controlled area.

Middle East & North Africa


Houthis launched long-range missiles and drones targeting Israel, which were intercepted by Israeli defences; group threatened further such attacks in coming weeks that risk expanding Israel-Hamas war.

Houthis targeted Israel, raising prospect of regional escalation. Following outbreak of war between Hamas and Israel on 7 Oct (see Israel-Palestine), Houthi leader Abdulmalek Al-Houthi 10 Oct declared group’s readiness to respond with drones and missiles to any U.S. involvement in Hamas-Israel war and expressed willingness to coordinate intervention with other Iran-backed “Axis of Resistance” members, including Iraqi factions and Hizbollah in Lebanon (see Iran, Iraq and Lebanon). Underscoring potential for greater involvement of such actors, U.S. navy 19 Oct intercepted three cruise missiles and multiple drones reportedly launched by Houthis, potentially targeting Israel. Drones 27 Oct struck Egyptian Red Sea town Taba, injuring six, while second drone was downed over Red Sea; Israel blamed Houthis for attack aimed at Israel. Houthis 31 Oct fired drones and ballistic missiles at southern Israel, which were intercepted by Israeli jets and air defence systems; group claimed responsibility and vowed further such strikes if “Israeli aggression” against Hamas continues.

Dialogue between Houthis and Saudi Arabia awaited breakthrough. Houthi delegation’s visit to Saudi Arabia in Sept set stage for further talks and possible progress. Houthi attack on Saudi military position in Jazan's Doud mountain near border 25 Oct killed four Saudi soldiers. On diplomatic front, UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg 4 Oct met Omani FM Badr Al-Busaidi in Omani capital Muscat to discuss developments in Yemen. Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) head Rashad al-Alimi 18 Oct held separate meetings with Grundberg and U.S. envoy Tim Lenderking in Saudi capital Riyadh.

In other important developments. Syria 10 Oct notified Houthis to vacate Yemeni embassy in Syrian capital Damascus, which they have effectively controlled since 2015. PLC 11 Oct said Syria’s decision followed its engagement with Damascus. Explosive device 4 Oct killed commander of Security Belt forces, Salem Sal’an, in Abyan governorate, reportedly during operation against al-Qaeda. Yemenia Airlines 17 Oct resumed six weekly flights from Sanaa international airport to Jordan, after Houthis froze company’s accounts.

Middle East & North Africa


Houthi delegation visited Saudi Arabia for first time in nine years, sporadic clashes surged between Houthis and govt forces, and Southern Transitional Council (STC) called for separate state.

Houthi representatives travelled to Saudi Arabia for dialogue. In first official visit since outbreak of war in 2014, Houthi delegation and Omani mediators 14-19 Sept held talks with Saudi officials in Saudi capital Riyadh; talks reportedly included reopening of Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa airport and Hodeida port, reopening roads in Taiz, Al-Dhale, Marib and Hodeida governorates, prisoner exchange, roadmap for permanent ceasefire, ending airstrikes and cross-border attacks, establishing timeline for foreign troops to leave Yemen, and payment of public salaries from oil and gas revenues, possibly by directing revenue to neutral country’s bank; talks did not include representatives from Presidential Leadership Council (PLC). Meanwhile, Houthis 2 Sept announced that Yemenia airlines would increase flights between Sanaa and Jordanian capital Amman to six per week from 5 Sept.

Houthis and govt forces clashed sporadically. After hostilities broke out along several frontlines in Marib governorate in Aug, clashes 16 Sept erupted between govt forces and Houthis near Al-Mutoon district and 20 Sept reportedly in Taiz governorate. Bahrain late month claimed Houthi drone strike killed four Bahraini soldiers on Saudi Arabia’s border; Saudi-led coalition said it “reserves the right to respond”. In Houthi-controlled Sanaa, Houthis 21 Sept held military parade. Teachers in Houthi-controlled areas, including Sanaa, entered second month of strikes demanding unpaid salaries; in response, after announcing transportation allowance for teachers in late Aug, Houthis 8 Sept arrested representative of Yemeni Teachers Club in Mahwit.

STC leader renewed call for southern state. Following uptick in fighting between Houthis and STC-affiliated brigades in Aug in region straddling Al-Bayda governorate’s Al-Zahir district and Lahj governorates’s Al-Hadd and Yafea districts, resulting in dozens of casualties on both sides, head of STC and member of PLC Ayderous al-Zubaidi 22 Sept called for creation of separate southern state. Clashes between STC-affiliated group and suspected al-Qaeda militants 27 Sept reportedly killed at least five STC-affiliated fighters in Abyan governorate.

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