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See also Saudi Arabia attacks Yemen
Control of Yemen at the start of 2023

Explainers of the recent history of the Yemeni conflict

Provinces of Yemen

Blumi, a lecturer in Turkish studies at Stockholm University, wants to upend the western and Arabic media narrative of the Yemen war. Instead of the “internationally recognised government of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi” fighting “Iran-backed Houthi rebels” (AFP's favoured framing), the author describes a war with origins a century old that has little or nothing to do with Iranian expansion or terrorism, and everything to do with eliminating resistance to the western-backed Arab Gulf states.
To sum up, it is profoundly wrong to characterize the Yemeni conflict as sectarian or only as part of the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. At the same time, it is naive to neglect the importance of ideology – in this case, religion – in such a complicated conflict. The informal institutions set up by Zaydis and Shafi’is, like avoiding sectarian disagreements in public and avoiding referring to each other derogatorily, as a whole, were slowly disintegrated by Saudi’s forceful propagation of aggressive Salafism into Yemen since the early 1980s.

Saudi Strategy

Strategic importance of the Bab al Mandab strait


The strategic importance of the southern entrance to the Red Sea has been apparent for generations. The British, the first to recognize the importance of the straits, established strongholds as to safeguard their shipping routes to India. The best way to control the straits was to hold the island of Perim situated between the shores of the Arabian peninsula and Djibouti, East Africa.

2019 Control of the port of Al Mokha (or Mocha) remains strategically key for the coalition to exert itself over the Bab al Mandeb shipping lane:


  • International Crisis Group: Bab Al Mandeb Threat level critical - January 2, 2020
  • Fars January 6: In the wake of the assasination of Qaseem Soleimani - The Arabic-language Masa Press news website reported on Monday that the US forces have entered Yemen to cooperate with their Saudi counterparts to support the US trade cargos in Bab al-Mandab strait.
  • Jan 7 Yemen Press Agency picks up reports of coalition expansion of facilities at Mocha port.

Makeup of the coalition attacking Yemen

AFP photo of a member of the coalition at Red Sea Mills January 22, 2019

Decisive storm coalition 0.jpg

  • As recorded by the Yemen Data project the military coalition attacking Yemen is led by Saudi Arabia... also includes participation from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. The military coalition is backed by the United States and the United Kingdom with the US providing intelligence and logistical support, and the US and UK also having their military personnel deployed in the Saudi command-and-control centre for coalition airstrikes.

French and Israeli presence has also been reported - see below.

Estimated death toll

Infographic from LCRD click for source

Who are the 'Houthis'?

Sayyed Abdulmalik Al-Houthi

Southfront Documentary

Allegations of Iranian backing

See also Iranian Missiles?, Blockade of Yemen

A number of experts believe that Iran’s financial assistance does not exceed 10-20 million dollars a year. It should be noted that the Islamic Republic’s capacity to provide assistance to Yemen is now limited, as Iran is also providing financial assistance, weapon and personnel to Hezbollah as well as to Shia militias in Syria and Iraq. Moreover, Yemen is currently under a sea and land blockade. Therefore, the possibilities to assist the Houthis are severely limited. Several Iranian vessels captured by the forces of the coalition in 2014 contained rockets for multiple rocket launchers, MANPADS, RPG-7 grenade launchers, explosives, cartridges, small arms and Iranian-made night vision devices.
“These constant reports that the Houthis are working for the Iranians are nonsense, but the view is right out of the neocon playbook,” he said. “The Israelis have been touting this line that we lost Yemen to Iran. That’s absurd. The Houthis don’t need Iranian weapons. They have plenty of their own. And they don’t require military training. They’ve been fighting Al-Qaeda since at least 2012, and they’ve been winning. Why are we fighting a movement that’s fighting Al-Qaeda?”
On December 19, the Interior Ministry of the Sanaa-based Yemeni government, which is led by the Houthis [Ansar Allah], presented a locally-made armored vehicle, dubbed “Bass-1.” The vehicle was showcased during the inauguration ceremony of the Interior Ministry’s Security Manufacturing Unit in Sanaa.

Reports of traffic from Iran

Yemen is flooded with weapons. The Saudi have several times dropped thousands of new weapons to their proxy forces in south Yemen. Many of those weapons were seized by the Houthis and those that reached the Saudi proxies were immediately sold off to the highest bidder. Every modern assault rifle one might think of is available in Sanaa's weapon markets. Why would anyone ship old AK47 to Yemen where even the poorest households already have better weapons?
  • U.S. Navy says it seized weapons from Iran likely bound for Houthis in Yemen-Reuters, April 4, 2016
    U.S. Navy ships in the Arabian Sea intercepted and seized an arms shipment from Iran likely bound for Houthi fighters in Yemen, the military said...The weapons seized last week by the warships Sirocco and Gravely were hidden on a small dhow and included 1,500 AK-47 rifles, 200 rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers, and 21 .50-caliber machine guns, according to the Navy statement...The boat, which the Navy described as stateless, and its crew were allowed to leave once the weapons were taken.
  • UN investigators check weapons seized by Navy warship, by Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press. Navy Times, October 25, 2018
    ...U.N. inspectors boarded the American guided-missile destroyer, to examine the more than 2,500 guns the crew seized in late August and determine if suspicions are true that the weapons originated in Iran. U.S. officials have long accused Iran of smuggling arms across the waters to Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels, who have held Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, since September 2014. But they have only managed to seize a handful of weapons caches in recent years, underscoring the difficulties in tracking down arms smugglers working the vast waters around Yemen. “It’s one big traffic corridor,” Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, commander of U.S. 5th Fleet, told reporters Thursday. “It’s not blocked, and it’s not just lines on a map that people don’t penetrate.”

Southern Seperatists and UAE-Saudi clashes

Moved to UAE Saudi proxy conflict: southern seperatists and Hadi government in exile

UAE role in Yemen

Moved to UAE in the Yemen conflict

Sudanese forces

The Saudis and UAE bribed Sudan's president to send Janjaweed fighters to be cannon fodder in Yemen. It's not working out.
  • Yemen Observer - Twitter thread, April 17, 2021 - Ansarallah and the Yemeni army launch a major raid on Sudanese/Janjaweed mercenaries positions near Hayran (Hajjah province)

Turkish and Qatari influence

See also Al-Islah

UAE and Turkey reconciliation

US role in Yemen

Moved to the US role in Yemen

Supply of weapons/European arms industry

Moved to Supply of weapons and European arms industry

UK role

Moved to UK role in Yemen conflict

French involvement

Yemen liquid natural gas project in Balhaf is led by France's Total


En continuant à vendre des armes à l’Arabie Saoudite, la France, le Royaume-Uni et l’Allemagne seraient complices de crimes de guerre au Yémen. Face au silence des gouvernements, enquête sur les dessous d’un trafic opaque et lucratif. and the DGSI Yemen papers leak

An unprecedented leak of secret documents has revealed the massive use of French-made weapons in the ongoing civil war in Yemen. Following several months of investigation, Disclose reports on how these weapons have been used against the civilian population.

Israeli influence?

Moved to Alleged Israeli involvement in Yemen

AQAP/ISIS and forces fighting alongside them

More on the battle for Al Bayda and central Yemen

Cooperation from Al Islah (Muslim Brotherhood)

Al Ghaydah airbase, Al Mahra province (Eastern Yemen)

See also Talk:UK role in Yemen conflict

World Food Programme

Sources to follow

Moved to Yemen sources


See also Saudi advance on Hodaidah, Operation Victory from God, Battle for Marib province

Status of Yemeni 'civil war' June 2018
Status of Yemeni 'civil war' December 2018
  • The resistance media wing captured footage of a Saudi tank crashing into one of its own vehicles, while trying to flee the battlefield in the key city of Najran. Almasdarnews report, Aug 24, 2016.
Weapon: unknown; a twitter user suggested Chinese C 801 anti ship missile
Yemeni rebels-houthis shot down an F-15 fighter of the Air Force of Saudi Arabia with an air defense missile. It is reported that the military aircraft was struck over the province of Saada, but fell in the province of Najran. Both provinces are located on the territory of the KSA. The incident occurred on the day of arrival of Donald Trump on a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The US F-15 fighter was shot down by a Soviet anti-aircraft missile. Earlier, on May 18, in Yemen, the husits were shot down by a military helicopter of the Black Hawk Saudis ("Black Hawk"), also American-made. At least 13 servicemen were killed.

Human rights claims against Houthis

An area pointed to in this HRW report on landmine usage by the "houthis". The report doesnt mention the coalition 'Golden victory' operation or that the west coast was the route of the coalition forces advance towards the port of Hodeidah.

Bellingcat: The Yemen Project

Noted that Bellingcat refers to remnants of Hadi govt in Aden as the Yemeni Government without mentioning that this is contested or the national salvation government authorities in the capital Saana --Diagonal (talk) 15:02, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

See also their impossible account of the Aden airport rocket attack December 30 2020