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

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.

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In The News

1 2月 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 1月 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 4月 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 10月 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

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Ahmed Nagi

Senior Analyst, Yemen
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