On 4 September a Houthi OTR-21 Tochka missile hit an ammunition dump at a military base in Safer in Ma'rib Governorate killing 52 UAE, 10 Saudi and 5 Bahraini soldiers. The Safer base was being built up by coalition forces for a push against Sanaa. "It was the deadliest single attack on coalition soldiers since the start of its operation against Houthi rebels in March" Asseri said. The attacked was the highest casualty loss in the history of the UAE military. Qatar deployed 1000 troops to Yemen after the incident.
Scholar Ian Almond criticised the media commentators, the lack of balance in reporting, and the "way we are learning to talk about ISIS." While there was talk about 'radical evil' and 'radical Islam', Almond found it striking because "some of the most revered and oft-quoted figures in our Western political tradition have been capable of the most vicious acts of savagery – and yet all we ever hear about is how much the Middle East has to learn from us." Almond goes on to cite how Winston Churchill "wanted to gas women and children", how Ronald Reagan's Central American policies "disembowlled more children than ISIS," how President Barack Obama's "planes and drones have dropped bombs on as many schoolchildren as ISIS," how former secretary of state Madeleine Albright commented on the deaths of Iraqi children killed by sanctions, how Henry Kissinger and Margaret Thatcher "assisted in the torture and disappearance of thousands of Chilean students and labour activitists... For anyone familiar with the history of both U.S. and European torture and murder over the past 150 years, it might not be all that hyperbolic to say that in ISIS, what we see more than anything else is a more expansive, explicit version of our own cruelties. In bombing ISIS and its would-be imperialism, we are really bombing a version of ourselves."More Info
On 26 October 2015 Médecins Sans Frontières reported that a coalition airstrike had completely destroyed a hospital they ran in Saada province's Haydan governorate, including the operating room. When the first strike hit an unused part of the hospital the facility was completely evacuated, so there were no direct casualties. A spokesman for the coalition forces, Brig-Gen Ahmed al-Asiri, denied responsibility for the attack. "With the hospital destroyed, at least 200,000 people now have no access to lifesaving medical care," MSF said. "This attack is another illustration of a complete disregard for civilians in Yemen, where bombings have become a daily routine," said Hassan Boucenine, MSF head of mission in Yemen. The GPS coordinates of the only hospital in the Haydan district were regularly shared with the Saudi-led coalition, and the roof of the facility was clearly identified with the MSF logo, he said. UNICEF said the hospital in Saada was the 39th health center hit in Yemen since March, when the violence escalated. "More children in Yemen may well die from a lack of medicines and healthcare than from bullets and bombs," its executive director Anthony Lake said in a statement. He added that critical shortages of fuel, medication, electricity and water could mean many more will close. Amnesty International said the strike may amount to a war crime and called for an independent investigation.More Info
Saudi-backed Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, running unopposed as the only candidate for president, won the 2012 Yemeni elections. Since August 2014, the Houthis (or Ansar Allah), a Zaidi Shia movement and militant group thought to be backed by Iran, dissatisfied with Hadi government's decisions and the new constitution, arranged mass protests which culminated into their takeover of the Yemeni government in 2015, declaring victory of the revolution and drafting a new constitution when Hadi's provisional government had already expired its term. Saudi Arabia and other countries denounced this as an unconstitutional coup d'état.More Info
The coalition declared Yemeni airspace to be a restricted area, with King Salman declaring the RSAF to be in full control of the zone. Saudi Arabia began airstrikes, reportedly relying on US intelligence reports and surveillance images to select and hit targets, including weapons, aircraft on the ground and air defences. 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 Sanaʽa.More Info
By September 2014, Houthi fighters captured Sanaʽa, toppling Hadi's government. Soon after, a peace deal (known as the 'Peace and Partnership Agreement') was sealed between the Hadi government and the Houthis, but was not honored by either party. The deal was drafted with the intent of defining a power-sharing 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. 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. By 25 March, forces answering to Sanaʽa were rapidly closing in on Aden, which Hadi had declared to be Yemen's temporary capital.More Info
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