On 8 October 2016, Saudi-led airstrikes targeted a hall in Sanaʽa where a funeral was taking place. At least 140 people were killed and about 600 were wounded. According to The Independent, one rescuer said: "The place has been turned into a lake of blood." After initially denying it was behind the attack, the Coalition's Joint Incidents Assessment Team admitted that it had bombed the hall but claimed that this attack had been a mistake caused by bad information. After this attack, US national security spokesperson said that the US government was "deeply disturbed" by the bombing and added that US support for the Saudi-led coalition was "not a blank cheque". He added "we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led Coalition." The United Nations humanitarian co-ordinator in Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said he was "shocked and outraged" by the "horrific" bombing. "This violence against civilians in Yemen must stop," he said.
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 US Navy provided support to the naval blockade, halting and searching vessels suspected of carrying Iranian arms to the Houthis. On 21 April, the United States announced it was deploying warships to Yemeni waters to monitor Iranian ships. The US in particular noted a convoy of Iranian vessels, which US authorities said could potentially be carrying weapons to Houthi fighters in contravention of UN sanctions. The US reported that the Iranian convoy reversed course on 23 April.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
In September 2015, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, called for consultation (shura) within the "prophetic method" to be used when establishing the caliphate, criticising al-Baghdadi for not following the required steps. Al-Zawahiri has called upon ISIL members to close ranks and join al-Qaeda in fighting against Assad, the Shia, Russia, Europe, and America and to stop the infighting between jihadist groups. He called upon jihadists to establish Islamic entities in Egypt and the Levant, slowly implementing sharia before establishing a caliphate, and has called for violent assaults against America and the West.More Info
On 22 April airstrikes continued in Taiz, where an army base was hit shortly after Houthi fighters took it over, and Aden, where an airstrike targeted Houthi tanks moving into a contested district, among other locations, such as Al Hudaydah and Ibb. The Houthis continued to fight for territory, with a Houthi spokesman saying the group would be prepared for peace talks on the condition of "a complete halt of attacks". The previous round of UN-sponsored talks collapsed after Houthi rebels attacked Hadi's residence in Sanaʽa.More Info
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