Monthly Briefing / February – 2022

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Political Scene:

The Houthi group’s repeated targeting of Abu Dhabi, with missiles and drones, drew international condemnation, followed by calls for sanctions and its designation as a terrorist organization. Meanwhile, the UN envoy mentioned the difficulty of a political solution in Yemen and that the parties did not abide by the council’s instructions.

In his briefing before the Security Council, Hans Grundberg, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Yemen, complained about the failure to respond to the Council’s repeated calls for restraint and calm in Yemen (February 16, 2022).

A Houthi negotiating delegation met with Grundberg in Oman’s capital, Muscat, as part of the UN efforts to meet with the group’s leaders in Sana’a, since they have been refusing to meet with him since his appointment as envoy, which was in August 2021 (February 3, 2022).

Faisal Iraqi admitted responsibility for targeting Abu Dhabi with drones. The Houthi group continues to launch aircraft attacks and promises to continue targeting the UAE.

Tim Lenderking, the U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen, said that the Iranian-backed Houthi group’s attacks on Ma’rib, southern Saudi Arabia and the UAE will lead to more casualties and greatly impede the urgent peace efforts in Yemen (February 14, 2022).

While before the Security Council, a representative of the UAE criticized the impotence of the United Nations and the congruent of its special envoy concerning the Houthi group’s recent escalation toward Abu Dhabi (February 17, 2022).

U.S. President Joe Biden is considering imposing new sanctions on the Houthi group and its leaders, in response to the group’s recent escalation of beyond-the-border attacks with drones and ballistic missiles, which have been targeting Saudi Arabia and the UAE (February 2, 2022).

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed that the United States had sent the Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG-67), as well as fifth-generation combat aircraft, to help the UAE confront the new threats, which are the Houthi group’s attacks (February 2, 2022).

The Russian Foreign Ministry called on all parties in Yemen to refrain from any actions that could lead to casualties among the population and to reduce the mutual escalation between the Houthi group and the Saudi-led coalition (January 25, 2022).

After the Houthi group’s closure of six local radio stations in Sana’a, the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, in a statement, has expressed its deep concern about the deterioration of freedom of the press in Yemen (February 1).

The United Nations has announced that a preliminary and partial solution has been reached; it will mitigate the threat posed by the floating oil reservoir in the Red Sea, off the coast of Hodeidah, through a proposal of the transfer of one million barrels of oil to another ship (February 6, 2022).

Military Scene:

After days of enthusiasm that accompanied the Saudi-led coalition’s launch of a military operation called, “Freedom of Happy Yemen”, the Giants Brigades forces suddenly repositioned themselves in Shabwah. This was accompanied by a decrease in the level of military operations in Ma’rib, due to the launching of a new military front in the Fifth Military District in Harad City, which is witnessing an alternate escalation between attack and retrieve.

The Giants Brigades, after completing the “Cyclone of the South” operation to liberate Baihan, Al-Ain and Usaylan provinces, are repositioning parts of their forces in Shabwah. (January 28, 2022).
Seven Egyptian military experts have arrived in Shabwah Governorate, southern Yemen, to supervise the training of the UAE-backed Giants Brigades Forces, which participated in military operations in Shabwah and Ma’rib (January 29, 2022).

Five members of the Giants Brigades Forces were killed as a result of a Houthi missile attack, which targeted a gathering of soldiers in the Bayhan District, west of Shabwah Governorate (January 29, 2022).

The United Nations documented 1,403 Saudi-led coalition airstrikes and 39 Houthi missile and drone attacks during the month of January (January 28, 2022).

The Saudi-led coalition renews its absolute denial of targeting a detention center in Saada Governorate, stressing that it will provide all facts and information to the joint investigation team in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. An unknown attack caused 91 deaths and 200 wounded, as there were 1,300 Yemeni detainees, including 700 immigrants, in the detention center. (January 28, 2022).

In response to the threat and military, and out of necessity to protect civilians from hostile attacks, the Saudi-led coalition announces the start of a military operation in the capital, Sana’a, a few weeks after the start of the “Freedom of Happy Yemen” operation (February 7, 2022).

The Saudi-led coalition announces the destruction of two Houthi military command and control centers in Haradh, the capital city of Hajjah Governorate, in northwest Yemen (February 2, 2022).

The Houthi group was able to lift the siege in Haradh imposed by the Yemeni Army on the group’s men, and the group also regained the strategic Al-Muhsam camp (February 12, 2022).

Faisal Iraqi announces his responsibility for launching four drones over the UAE, in the name of the “al-Wa’ad al-Sadiq Brigades”. His statement was circulated by Iraqi websites affiliated with Iran (February 3, 2022).

Major General Abdullah Al-Subaihi, commander of the 39th Armored Brigade and the Abyan Axis, died after suffering from cancer. After the Southern Transitional Council refused to cross his family accompanying the body through Aden International Airport, his body arrived at Seiyun Hadhramaut Airport alone (February 21, 2022).

The treatment of the National Army abroad has been stopped as a result of the repeated delays in bill payment for treatment. Dozens of patients were affected by this action (February 17, 2022).

Security Scene:

A series of assassinations continues in Sana’a and Aden. Officials and human rights organizations condemn the horrific execution, by forces affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council, of an accused outsider of the law in Abyan Governorate. Plus, the local authority in Taiz was successful in dismantling cells that were planning terrorist acts.

Unidentified gunmen carjacked a vehicle belonging to the security and safety team at the United Nations office, between the districts of Mudiyah and Al-Wadaa, southeast of Abyan Governorate, inside of which were four employees (the UN security and safety officer, along with three other employees). Three attempts by tribal and military mediation failed to release them (February 12, 2022).

The Security Administration of Abyan Governorate condemned an execution by the “Security Belt” UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council forces in a public square. The forces were accused of carrying out an extrajudicial killing (February 12, 2022).

The United Nations announces that 5,940 illegal immigrants have entered Yemen, 85% of whom came from Ethiopia, compared to 3,690 immigrants who entered Yemen in December 2021. And, 7,605 Yemeni expatriates, who came from Saudi Arabia, returned because of the new Saudi authority regulation during the same period (February 10, 2022).

The security police of Taiz Governorate arrested four members of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who were planning to carry out terrorist plots in the city (February 22, 2022).

Judge Akram Qassem Abdullah Al-Lahji, a member of the Houthi-controlled Specialized Criminal Prosecution in Sana’a, survived an assassination attempt by Houthi militia, after he was exposed to a barrage of bullets near his house in the Sarf area of Sana’a, without knowing the reason (January 29, 2022).

A mediation committee, which included military leaders, succeeded in releasing eight kidnappees, four of whom are leaders of the Giants Brigades forces (Hamdi Shukri), and four others, who are part of the Southern Transitional Council. Both forces are supported by the Saudi-led coalition. (February 4, 2022)

Nayef Al-Hamidi, the Director of the Finance Department at the Ministry of Interior in the internationally recognized government, survived an assassination attempt in front of his house in the temporary capital Aden, by an explosive device placed in his car, which caused damage to neighboring houses when it exploded (February 1, 2022)

The local authority in Hadhramaut released Sheikh Saleh bin Hariz, who is the leader of the “Al-Haiybeh Al-Hadramiyah” Hadrami uprising movement and prominent social dignitary, after a two-week detention (February 6, 2022).

Economic Scene:

The government revealed that the national economy suffered great losses during the period of the war. This deterioration is taking place due to the delay of the expected arrival of the Saudi deposit, which is needed in order to secure the exchange rates and ensure regular arrival of goods.

The Minister of Planning and International Cooperation in the internationally recognized government confirms the deterioration of the local currency against the dollar, by 500%, as compared to 2014, noting that the gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 50%, as a result of the war, during 2014 to 2019. The minister estimated the cost of lost opportunities, during the same years, from the cumulative GDP to $126 billion in 2020 (February 16, 2022).

In a new report for 2022, the United Nations International Sanctions Committee acquitted the Hayel Saeed Anam & Co. Group of Companies, the Yemeni government and the Central Bank of corruption and money laundering charges, of which they were previously accused in the UN’s 2020 report (January 25, 2022).

The Houthi group tightens its procedures to prevent the arrival of oil derivatives to their controlled areas and detains 120 trucks loaded with petroleum and diesel in the Huwaishan area, east of Al Jawf Governorate. And, simultaneously, for two weeks, the group was preventing empty trucks from reaching the liberated areas while the capital, Sana’a, and the rest of the governorates witness a severe oil crisis (January 31, 2022).

An investigative report by the Sam Organization for Rights and Liberties reveals widespread and systematic confiscation and looting of money and property of citizens who are opposed to the Houthi group (called themselves the “Judicial Guard”). These actions suggest that the value of the funds, companies, institutions and associations seized by the judicial guard, alone, exceeds $1.7 billion US, while the assets, real estate and movables that have been controlled exceed $2 billion US (February 14, 2022).

The Tax Office in the Ma’rib Governorate confirms that the revenues during 2021 amounted to 10 billion Yemeni riyals, an increase of one billion Yemeni riyals throughout 2020, and the money was supplied in full and on a regular basis to the Central Bank in Aden (January 29, 2022).

The UN announces the curtailment and closure of nearly two-thirds of major UN aid programs in Yemen, because of the funding gaps. And, starting on March 2022, 11 million people will have to rely on reduced food rations, according to the organization (February 1, 2022).

The first shipment of local agricultural products was exported to Somalia through the port of Mokha, which is in southwest Yemen, as the first exported shipment since the reopening (end of July 2021) of the historic port located near the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait (February 15, 2022).

In a survey, the Sadaq al-Yemeni platform — an independent platform that exposes rumors and fake news — revealed that, in 2021, the Public Telecommunications Corporation in Sana’a received in excess of $240 million US for only Internet service after the number of subscribers reached 8 million people (February 13, 2022).

The Al-Mawarid Company for Educational and Health Services, which owns the University of Science and Technology, Yemen (USTY), in Sana’a, has warned against disposing of the company’s property in Sana’a and the rest of the branches that the Houthi group had looted, following the Judicial Guard’s seizure of the university and hospital (February 18, 2022).


A detainee of a prison in the Houthi-controlled city of Ibb issued a distress call, which came after the outbreak of diseases among the inmates, plus the kidnappees’ relatives in Sana’a are subjected to extortion, according to human rights reports. 

Meanwhile, United Nations investigators have questioned the validity of the Houthi’s information regarding the death of one of their most prominent leaders, the director of criminal investigation in Sana’a, Sultan Zaben. This happened a few weeks after he was included in the international sanctions list (under Security Council Resolution No. (2564) 2021) and after he was accused of torturing abducted women and blackmailing them sexually (January 31, 2022).

The Ibb-based Rasd Organization for Freedoms and Rights also received a distress call from the kidnappees and inmates in the Houthi-controlled Political Security Prison, in Ibb Governorate, in central Yemen. The appeal mentions the existence of widespread diseases among the inmates (February 22, 2022).

A Houthi-controlled court issued a death sentence for three citizens on charges of communicating with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Among the citizens is a professor who worked as principal of Yemen’s largest private school (February 23, 2022).

The Abductees’ Mothers Association condemns the Houthis’ security and intelligence’s confiscation of the clothes of the abductees in Shamlan prison in Sana’a, including their underwear, blankets and mattresses during the cold winter, as well as perishable food that had been provided by families (February 2, 2022).

The British newspaper, The National, reveals details of the 2017 kidnapping and the 2018 severe torture of Luke Symons, 29, who is a British Muslim citizen, in the Houthi group’s prison in Sana’a (February 3, 2022).

After The National published its article detailing Symons’ kidnapping and torture, Amnesty International called for his immediate release from the Houthi prison (February 5, 2022).

The Houthi group launched a missile shelling onto a residential neighborhood in the center of Ma’rib, which had been hit by more than nine missiles in less than a month, and five civilians were killed and 28 others were injured (January 26, 2022).

The United Nations’ special envoy to Yemen affirmed, in a statement, before the UNICEF meeting, that the number of children recruited into the Houthi group has reached 30,000 (February 9, 2022).

A report by the American Center for Justice stated that the forces of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council has displaced 200 families in the Crater neighborhood, after they were exposed (from October 2 to October 12) to many violations during the implementation of a security campaign (February 1, 2022).

The Yemeni Network for Rights and Freedoms revealed the death of 13 detainees in the Houthi group’s prisons, in the past year, including four assassinations (February 2, 2022).

In Jabal Habashi District, west of Taiz Governorate, Hayat Ali Qassem was killed by a Houthi sniper’s bullet. She was in her fifties (February 9, 2022).

Save the Children: Throughout the month of January, one civilian was killed or injured every hour in Yemen. It is one of the bloodiest months since the last escalation in 2018, as this led to the killing of more than 200 adults and 15 children, plus 354 adults and 30 children getting injured, for a total of 599 civilian victims (February 12, 2022).

In Rahiba village, Khadir District, Taiz Governorate, in southwest Yemen, Houthi group militants attacked a Muhamasheen (marginalized) family and also burned their house. (Muhamasheen is a term given to a social group of African descent.) (February 11, 2022)

The Houthi group met with leaders from the Muhamasheen, whom the group calls “the descendants of Bilal” (which means, “dark skin companion of the prophet Muhammad”). This event coincided with the Houthi’s announcement of the launch of the “Yemen Hurricane” campaign, which is for mobilizing fighters to the fronts (February 17, 2022).

After a verbal dispute, in the village of Al-Maja’ara, near the center of the “Bilad Al-Ta’am” Directorate, in Raymah Governorate, an armed Houthi fighter killed his father, Haji Hamid Muhammad Abdullah, 46, at the same time that his mother was being admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit as a result of her serious injury from a gunshot wound (February 14, 2022).

After being subjected to severe torture in a Houthi prison, in Kitaf District, Saada Governorate, Sheikh Abd Rabbo Daji, one of the sheikhs of the Salem family, died (February 5, 2022).

Three members of the Balcom family were killed in an explosion of a landmine planted by the Houthi group in At Tuhayta District, south of Al-Hodeidah, in western Yemen (February 17, 2022).

Almasdar Online news website released a special document, dated June 3, 2018, which contains the confession of Abd al-Malik Al-Houthi, the leader of the Houthi group, with incidents of raping children to death, who were requited in exchange for his army (February 10, 2022)

The Houthi group kidnapped a journalist, Abdul Rahman Saif Al-Sharabi, who works in the media attaché at the US Embassy, located in the capital, Sana’a (February 21, 2022).

General News:

Major General Nassar Ali Hussein Al-Jarbani, head of the military council of the movement that aimed to overthrow the regime of the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, in October 1978, has died (January 25), 2022.

In several liberated governorates, most notably Taiz and Ma’rib, thousands of Yemenis celebrated the 11th anniversary of the 2011 February Revolution (February 12, 2022).

Journalist Marwan Yousef was killed while covering the clashes between the army and the Houthi group, in the city of Haradh, Hajjah Governorate, in northwest Yemen (February 6, 2022).

Former Vice President Ali Salem Al-Beidh’s son launched a violent attack on a political activity of the General Peoples’ Congress (the women’s sector) in Shabwah Governorate (January 31, 2022).


The Yemeni Network for Rights and Freedoms reveals that, during 2021, 13 detainees in the Houthi group’s prisons had died, including four assassinations.

1134 (thousand and hundred thirty-four) Cases:

  • 35 children. 

  • 38 women.

  • 92 enforced disappearance (their families do not know anything about them).

  • 42 cases of mistreatment.

  • 11 cases of torture.

  • 18 cases of innocents acting as human shields.

  • 4 cases of assassination inside prisons.

  • 6 deaths due to negligence in the prisons.

  • 3 deaths of detainees from heart attacks.

Mines in Yemen:

The Saudi project to clear mines in Yemen, called MASAM, was able to remove 303,279 mines and unexploded ordnances, which had been planted by the Iran-backed Houthi group between 2018 until 2022:

  • 188,463 unexploded ordnances.

  • 6,263 explosive devices.

  • 104,161 anti-tank mines.

  • 4,392 anti-personnel mines.

  • 11,228,985 square miles (29,082,939 square meters) of Yemeni lands that were filled with mines have been cleared.

Child Recruitment:

The United Nations Committee of Experts on Yemen have documented that the Houthi group have recruited thousands of children, during the time of war:

  • 2014: Out of 540 recruits, 39 were murdered.

  • 2015: Out of 600 recruits, 73 were murdered.

  • 2016: Out of 158 recruits, 88 were murdered.

  • 2107: Out of 526 recruits, 72 were murdered.

  • 2018: Out of 319 recruits, 121 were murdered.

  • 2019: Out of 70 recruits, all of them were killed.

  • 2020: Out of 190 recruits, 86 were murdered.

  • 2021: Out of 64 recruits, all of them were killed.

Displacement Status:

The Executive Unit for IDPs Camps Management has documented nearly 2,000 Yemeni families, which is 11,813 individuals, were displaced during the month of January 2021, in 11 Yemeni governorates:

  • 575 in Hodeidah.

  • 547 in Ma’rib. 

  • 240 in Taiz.

  • 182 in Shabwah.

  • 119 in Al-Dhalea.

  • 95 in Hadhramaut.

  • 93 in Abyan.

  • 49 in Aden.

  • 25 in Hajjah.

  • 19 in Al-Mahrah.

  • 19 in Lahj.

    • 85% of the displaced families were received in Ma’rib, Shabwah, Hodeidah and Taiz.

    • 15% of the displaces were distributed over the governorates of Aden, Abyan, Al-Dha’a, Hajjah , Al-Mahrah, Hadhramaut and Lahj.

Human rights violations in Ibb Governorate:

Yemeni Network for Rights and Freedoms accuses the Houthi group of committing about 3,400 crimes and violations against civilians during the years of 2020 and 2021 in Ibb governorate, central of Yemen.

3,419 violations of the civilians’ rights in Ibb Governorate, during the period 2020-2021, including:

  • 213 cases of murder against civilians, including women and children.

  • 189 injured civilians.

  • 121 civilians were assaulted with beating.

  • 26 children were abused.

  • 21 women were assaulted.

  • 18 elderly persons were assaulted.

  • 13 civilians were assassinated.

  • 9 political leaders and social figures were executed and assassinated.

  • 9 kidnappees were tortured and murdered.

  • 482 civilians, including women and children, were kidnapped.

  • 65 civilians were tortured.

  • 532 cases of assault and raiding of public and private properties.

  • 492 residential facilities were subjected to intrusion and search.

  • 12 houses were blown up.

  • 65 farms were looted.

  • 12 farms were completely destroyed.

  • 38 vehicles, and other private means of transport, were looted.

  • 32 schools were occupied.

  • 9 schools were converted into private prisons.

  • 1,322 children under the age of 17 years old were conscripted.

  • 278 families have been displaced.

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