Home News Timeline of a brutal war: Yemen’s seven-year conflict

Timeline of a brutal war: Yemen’s seven-year conflict

Published on 30/03/2022
Published from AFP.com

Yemen has for more than seven years been mired in a war pitting Iran-backed rebels against government forces supported by a Saudi-led military coalition.

emen has for more than seven years been mired in a war pitting Iran-backed rebels against government forces supported by a Saudi-led military coalition.

The conflict has left about 380,000 people dead, according to the UN, either directly in the fighting or as a result of famine and disease.

– 2014: Huthis take capital –

The Huthi rebels descend from northern Yemen to seize the capital Sanaa in September 2014.

They ally themselves with forces loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was toppled in a 2011 uprising, before overrunning the lifeline Red Sea port of Hodeida.

In February 2015, President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi flees to the second city Aden, on Yemen’s south coast.

– 2015: Saudis step in –

A coalition led by Iran’s bitter enemy Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates enters the conflict in March 2015 with air strikes on the rebels.

Washington says it is contributing logistics and intelligence.

As the rebels advance on Aden, Hadi flees to Saudi Arabia.

The coalition’s intervention helps pro-government forces secure Aden.

In October, coalition forces take control of the Bab al-Mandab strait at the southern gates of the Red Sea, one of the world’s busiest and most strategic waterways.

– 2018: Battle for key port –

In June 2018, government fighters backed by coalition ground forces launch an offensive to retake Hodeida, a key entry point for humanitarian aid.

In December, following negotiations in Sweden, the UN announces a ceasefire in Hodeida.

But it is marred by clashes between rebels and pro-government soldiers around the city.

– Separatists flex muscles –

The anti-Huthi camp is divided between southern separatists and northern unionists loyal to Hadi’s government.

The separatists occupy the presidential palace in Aden in January 2018, before Saudi and Emirati forces intervene.

In August 2019, Emirati-backed separatists again clash with unionist troops.

Riyadh negotiates a power-sharing agreement and the formation of a new government.

– 2019: Saudi oil hit –

The rebels escalate their attacks on Saudi Arabia, using drones and missiles.

A major hit on September 14, 2019 on the giant Abqaiq oil processing plant and Khurais oil field halves the kingdom’s crude output.

Riyadh and Washington accuse Iran of being behind the attack, which it denies.

– 2021: New escalation –

In February 2021, the US ends its support for the coalition’s military operations and removes the Huthis from a “terrorist” blacklist.

Shortly afterwards, the insurgents resume an offensive to seize oil-rich Marib province, the government’s last northern stronghold.

– 2022: Rebels turn on UAE –

In early 2022, the rebels take aim at the UAE, first seizing an Emirati-flagged vessel in the Red Sea and then carrying out a drone and missile attack on an oil facility in Abu Dhabi that kills three people on January 17.

In February, Washington announces it is sending the destroyer USS Cole and fighter jets to Abu Dhabi to bolster its defences.

– More attacks on Saudi –

In March, the rebels carry out a new series of drone and missile attacks on Saudi oil facilities, one of which triggers a huge fire near Jeddah’s Formula One circuit with drivers on the track.

– Ceasefire –

On March 26, the rebels call a three-day truce and offer a permanent end to hostilities on condition the Saudis end their blockade and air strikes and remove coalition forces from Yemen.

On March 29, the Saudi-led coalition announces an immediate ceasefire followed by peace talks during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan starting in early April.