What’s happening in Yemen today
4.13.2015 edition: Blackouts, evacuations continue, airstrikes in Ibb
By the Reported.ly Team
Family belongings are allegedly left behind inside a damaged home as hundreds reportedly fled the Saudi led airstrikes in the Al-Rawthah neighbourhood in north of Sanaa, Yemen. An alleged violent aerial bombing by Saudi forces on April 11, 2015 brought widespread destruction to the Al-Rawthah neighbourhood and the Al Yarmook football Stadium in north Sanaa. There are unconfirmed reports of injured and mass exodus from Sanaa. (Photo: Alhussain Albukhaiti/Demotix)
We are creating a daily rundown of events in Yemen as Saudi Arabian-led airstrikes against Houthis that began March 26 continue. The Houthi militia has been fighting the Yemeni government for nearly a decade, and in recent months has made enormous gains across the country, including capturing the capital, Sana’a.
For an explanation of what happened in the first few days of the military action, read our synopsis.
Update 5:51 p.m. PT (12:51 a.m. GMT)
Cell phone networks are down in parts of Yemen
Blackouts continue in Yemen, including Sana’a.
Landlines and cell phone networks are also facing problems reports the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
Both landlines and cell phone networks are no longer working in some areas in Aden City and Lawder District in Abyan. Similarly, phone networks and internet have been disconnected in Al Dhale’e. In addition, Aden and Al Mukalla have experienced prolonged power outages lasting between eight and 12 hours.
Bread is scarce in Aden
UNOCHA also confirmed that no bakeries are open in Aden. Even wheat flour is no longer available.
Coalition forced targeted a playground today
Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri continued his refrain about Houthis using schools and hospitals as storage for ammunition.
In a press briefing today, he said coalition forces targeted a playground today that contained a “big amount of ammunition and equipment,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Coalition forces are also targeting caves and tunnels in Sana’a and Sadaa that Houthis are presumably also using for ammunition storage.
UN Security Council set to vote on Yemen resolution
A resolution on Yemen is expected to be voted on by the UN Security Council tomorrow.
The resolution, brought by Jordan and Gulf Arab states, would blacklist the Houthi’s leader, Abdulmalik al-Houthi and the son of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, by freezing their assets and imposing travel bans. It would also target other Houthis by imposing an arms embargo, reports Reuters.
It’s unclear how Russia would vote, given they suggested a call for an immediate ceasefire, which is not in the current draft.
Update 1:46 a.m. ET (18:46 GMT)
Blackouts around the country
Fuel shortages; blackouts in most cities as cables were hit because they are considered strategic targets; reports of civilians killed in the strikes on Ibb. No security of food supplies practically anywhere in Yemen.
Human Rights Watch on civilian harm
Human Rights Watch issued an appeal on Monday to all forces engaged in Yemen to “curb civilian harm”.
On Sunday April 12, the International Organization for Migration organized its first charter flight to evacuate 141 third country nationals (TCNs) from Sana’a, Yemen. Third country nationals are those who are in transit and/or applying for visas in country of transit in order to go to another destination that is not their country of origin.
City Reports: Reports of airstrikes in Ibb, food shortages in Aden
Ibb was hit by airstrikes on Monday.
Location of the sports stadium in Ibb, which is a mountain city at 2,000 mt.
Young students in a nearby school were traumatised by the bombing. Video by a local:
Later on Monday, there were multiple reports of at least 7 civilians killed in the same airstrike.
Marib is strategic because it’s rich of oil and gas. Many claim that pro-government forces are nowhere to be seen, and that fighting in the streets is both sectarian and inter-tribal.
Washington Post: U.S. involvement has “shifted”
According to the Washington Post, the role of the U.S. in the Saudi-led military operation in Yemen has shifted and expanded, over apparent concerns for Saudi real long-term goals in Yemen.
“Under a new arrangement, Saudis pick their own targets, then provide info for review to Pentagon war planners at a joint operations center.”
Scenes from the Saudi-Yemen border
Photographer Carolyn Cole is on the border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, which is more than 1,000 km long.
You can also find her photos from the border in this Los Angeles Times story: