Yemen

The war in Yemen, which escalated in March 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition intervened on behalf of the internationally recognised government against Huthi rebels aligned with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, has turned a poor country into a humanitarian catastrophe: hunger and fighting could provoke mass famine and waves of refugees; the conflict could destabilise Saudi Arabia; and both sides appear locked in a cycle of escalating violence, derailing UN peace talks. Crisis Group’s focus is on the negotiations: introducing ourselves at key points, shaping the debate, proposing solutions and encouraging stakeholders to modify positions based on our analysis. Concerted effort is required to convince the parties to accept the UN’s roadmap as the basis for a compromise that would end foreign intervention and allow Yemenis to make peace.

CrisisWatch Yemen

Unchanged Situation

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.

Continue reading

In The News

1 Feb 2024
[The] Houthis wanted to send a message: We are the group that is most committed to Gaza, not just in words but in action. CNN

Ahmed Nagi

Senior Analyst, Yemen
15 Ian 2024
What's happening in the Red Sea will have a huge impact on the current political process between the Saudis and Houthis. NPR

Ahmed Nagi

Senior Analyst, Yemen
9 Apr 2023
The visit of both the Saudis and the Omanis aims to discuss the final details of the [Yemen] truce extension agreement, which is expected to be announced very soon. Financial Times

Ahmed Nagi

Senior Analyst, Yemen
22 Oct 2022
The temporary cessation of hostilities in Yemen, the longest since the start of the war, has given Yemeni civilians much-needed breathing room after eight years of war. Dawn

Veena Ali-Khan

Former Researcher, Yemen

Latest Updates

Our People

Ahmed Nagi

Senior Analyst, Yemen
Ahmed Nagi

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.