Monthly Briefing / March – 2022

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Political Scene

The agenda of Riyadh’s consultation is shrouded in uncertainty, and the invitations have not mentioned the content of the consultations. Also, the Houthi group has refused to participate in these consultations, while the UN envoy continues a series of consultations with political parties in Amman, Jordan, to prioritize resolving Yemen’s seven-year-old crisis.

In Amman, the European Union, the United States, Russia and Britain welcomed the start of consultations between UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, and Yemeni party leaders and actors (March 8, 2022).

The Iranian-backed Houthi group has criticized the UN envoy to Yemen, describing his consultations in Jordan as an attempt to cover up his failure and refusing to receive him in Sana’a (March 20, 2022).

Iran expressed strong displeasure with Security Council Resolution 2624, which described the Houthis as a “terrorist group” and expanded the arms embargo (March 2, 2022).

The European Union added the “Houthi group” to its blacklist. Also, the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers adopted the classification of the Houthis as a “terrorist group”, following the Security Council’s description of the group as terrorism in its resolution (2624), as a result of attacks that hit civilians and civilian infrastructure during the past period in Yemen, obstructed the delivery of humanitarian assistance in areas under their control, as well as war crimes and violations, including sexual violence and repression against women, recruitment of children, and the use of indiscriminate landmines in land and sea (March 15, 2022).

Britain welcomed the UN Security Council’s decision to classify the Houthis as a “terrorist group” and expand arms embargo sanctions in response to its attacks on Ma’rib and vital facilities in the Gulf (March 2, 2022).

The Yemeni president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, called on leaders of political parties and associates, during his meeting with them, to shoulder their responsibilities in preserving the country’s unity and national principles, overcoming political arguments and to work as a team (March 3, 2022).

U.S. Envoy to Yemen Timothy Linderking and Acting U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Cathy Westley visited the local authority command in Shabwah and Hadhramaut provinces and consulted on the fight against terrorism (March 4, 2022).

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Yemen, Peter-Dirk Hof, explained that his visit to Houthi-controlled Sana’a and Hodeidah was to negotiate ownership of the FSO Safer vessel, 60 kilometers north of Hodeida port, carrying 1.148 million barrels of crude oil, whose maintenance has not been kept up since 2015 and is in danger of exploding at any moment (March 3, 2022).

The United Nations has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Houthi group concerning the FSO Safer vessel, which is moored off Yemen’s west coast, requiring the transfer of 1 million barrels of oil stored on board of Safer to another oil tanker (March 8, 2022).

The Houthi group attacked vital facilities in Saudi Arabia, targeting the oil-distribution plant and burning two Aramco reservoirs in Jeddah. The group also claimed responsibility for sending booby-trapped drones and ballistic missiles to the Dhahran power plant in the south and the gas station in Khamis Mushit. “The Arab League considered the Houthi group’s attack on Saudi Arabia a clear rejection of peace efforts and a flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions 2216 and 2624.” (March 20, 2022)

Military Scene

Military operations were concentrated during March, in Hajjah province (western Yemen) within the frame of the fifth military zone, and the army made a remarkable breakthrough at the beginning of the operations, but the Houthi group was able to break the siege of the city of Haradh, and regained with it several positions that had lost. Meanwhile, military operations in Ma’rib ranged from hit-and-run without any penetration between the two sides, with large numbers of Houthi militants falling in front of coalition airstrikes.

The Saudi-led Arab Coalition announced the destruction of two booby-trapped ships and thwarted an imminent hostile Houthi attack on giant oil tankers that crossed the Bab al-Mandab Strait in Hodeidah province (southern Red Sea) (March 24, 2022).

Weapons stores belonging to the Houthi group exploded in the village of al-Hawban, within the city of al-Saleh, east of the southwestern Yemeni city of Taiz. The Houthis turned Taiz into a prison and detention facility for abductees opposed to its coup d’état. 

Arab coalition forces destroyed 12 Houthi military vehicles in the Hajjah province (March 2, 2022).

Security Scene

The great division among security institutions in the government’s areas of influence is causing serious breaches; the most recent of which was the assassination of Major General Jawas, in the city of Aden, who is one of the most prominent military leaders and is known to be the one who led the killing of Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, founder of the al-Houthi Group. There have also been a series of assassinations, kidnappings and insecurity witnessed in Yemen’s southern provinces under the influence of the UAE. 

At the entrance to the Green City between Aden and Lahj provinces, Al-Anad Axis commander, Major General Thabet Jawas, along with three of his companions, was assassinated by a car bomb’s detonation. General Thabet was one of the most prominent Yemeni leaders who fought six wars against the Houthi group as well as the leader of the military operation that toppled the founder of the Houthi group, Hussein al-Houthi.

Security services seized 50 thermal missiles at the cargo port on Oman’s border while trying to smuggle them into Yemen. International UN reports have already reported the smuggling of weapons and aircraft equipment marching across the Omani-Yemeni border of the Houthi group in northern Yemen (March 11, 2022).

As part of a joint security operation with the United States, the Saudi Defense Ministry freed two American young ladies, who were being held by the Houthi group in Sana’a, and transferred them to the temporary capital, Aden, and then to Riyadh (March 11, 2022).

An Emirati cargo ship with military equipment, machinery and communications equipment on board arrives at the Port of the Socotra Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, without being inspected (March 3, 2022). 

Two Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières) employees were abducted by unidentified gunmen in the Khashem al-Ain area of al-Qatn Directorate in Hadhramaut province in eastern Yemen. One of the doctors is a German national and the other is a Mexican national, and they were taken to an unknown destination (March 5, 2022).

Near the city of Ja’ar, the center of Khanfar district west of Abyan province, three members of the Security Belt Forces of the Southern Transitional Council were killed in an explosion that targeted the convoy of Belt Commander Abdullatif Al Sayed (March 15, 2022).

First Undersecretary of the Interior Major General Mohammed bin Abboud al-Sharif met with Saudi-led coalition officials and the U.S. counterterrorism representative and his staff in Hadhramaut Valley to discuss strengthening cooperation and coordination to combat terrorism and extremist groups (March 15, 2022).

Photojournalist Fawaz al-Wafi was killed by unknown assailants with a cold weapon inside his car in the al-Qadi Valley area north of Taiz, in southwestern Yemen. (23.3.22)

Economical Scene

Food prices have risen by 90% since early 2021, according to the World Food Programme, which worsens Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, in addition to the severe crisis in oil derivatives, which has been seen in several provinces, especially in those under the control of the Houthi group. And, the international organizations’ number of food baskets is reaching less of those in need, as the price of the national currency continues to deteriorate against foreign currencies. 

“The price of bread in Yemen has risen by 35%, affected by the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, with Yemen importing 42% of wheat from Ukraine,” said OXFAM international humanitarian organization (March 24, 2022).

Al-Houthi has been carrying out large-scale shutdowns, targeting facilities, factories and commercial agencies in the capital Sana’a, after their owners were financially blackmailed by the group’s leaders.

the Houthi group has closed 12 of the capital’s largest food production and import companies, including Natco, a subsidiary of the Hayel Saeed Anam Group of Companies (March 22, 2022).

Al-Houthi closed the Shamlan water plant (Yemen’s oldest plant), shut down production lines, and expelled all employees (March 24, 2022).

Humanitarian Scene

Yemen is experiencing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, according to the UNICEF report, which requires humanitarian assistance for some 23.7 million people, including about 13 million children, an increase of 13% over the previous year. And the situation has worsened, along with the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian war, as well as the delay in the arrival of the Saudi deposit with the Central Bank of Aden, which could contribute to securing basic materials and halting the deterioration of the riyal.

Renowned actress and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie arrived in Yemen’s temporary capital Aden to draw attention to the disastrous consequences of the more than seven years of conflict and met displaced families and refugees to hear firsthand how the conflict has torn their lives apart (March 6, 2022).

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that it received only 9% of the funding needed to help displaced families in Yemen so far this year (2022), with the number of people displaced by the conflict rising to 4.2 million (March 2, 2022).

UN agencies say that, without new humanitarian funding for Yemen, the number of people facing famine in the country will reach 161,000 by the end of the year, a fivefold increase (March 15, 2022).

UNICEF documented the killing and injury of 47 children in Yemen in January and February 2022 (March 12, 2022).

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) suspended its activities at Abs hospital in Hajjah Governorate, in southwestern Yemen, and demanded the security and safety of its medical staff as they were forced to treat the wounded of the Houthi group and not their other patients (March 2, 2022).

MSF has suspended five mobile clinics, out of eight, and the withdrawal of full support from Ma’rib General Hospital after the incident of kidnapping two of their staff members from Hadhramaut province. The local authority in the province criticized the measure, insisting they provide the right and safe environment for all employees of the NGOs (March 13, 2022)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced that more than 14,000 illegal African migrants arrived in Yemen between January and February 2022, “95% of whom came from Ethiopia, while the rest from Somalia, 74% of arriving migrants are males, 15% women, 8% children, and 3% girls” (March 14, 2022).


Al-Houthi (ranked on international terrorism lists) excels in increasing its violations, both in areas under its complete control and in areas with which it engages in military operations. Domestic and international reports monitor some of those violations that do not disclose everything that happens. 

The Al-Houthi group targeted al-Mada Hospital in Noman district in Al-Bayda Governorate (central Yemen), using two rocket-propelled grenades, causing significant material damage, plus causing terror and fear among medical staff and patients (March 6, 2022).

The Al-Houthi appointed a judicial guard to Al-Jazeera University, the largest university in Ibb Province in central Yemen, as they also took control of many service institutions in that province and other provinces.

While driving a bus in Dhi Na’im District of Al-Bayda Province (in central Yemen), Houthi gunmen shot and killed a young man (March 14, 2022).

A Houthi sniper shot and killed a young woman, in the Asshama area of Maqbana district in the southwestern city of Taiz, while she was gathering firewood near her home. 

After being harassed and threatened with liquidation by Houthi leader Jamal al-Hamri, who works as an agent in Ibb province, a teacher and his family were forcibly displaced from his home in the village of al-Rahah, in Hazm al-Adin directorate (March 15, 2022).

The International Rights Observatory warned that the Houthi group could not carry out the executions that had been handed down (in April 2020) by the group against four Yemeni journalists (Abdel-Khaleq Amran, Akram al-Walidi, Hareth Hamid and Tawfiq al-Mansouri), who have been detained for more than seven years.

The IRO demands the abolition of death sentences and unconditional release of Houthi prisoners (March 2, 2022).

Human Rights Watch has accused the Houthi group of using anti-personnel landmines in the conflict in Yemen, which amount to war crimes committed by the insurgents (March 3, 2022).

Between January 2021 and January 2022, the Yemeni National Commission of Inquiry had documented the deaths of 56 women; the injury of 60 others in incidents of residential neighborhoods being shelled; mine explosions; forced displacement of 125 families and denial of housing to 155 families as a result of their homes being shelled and bombed (March 8, 2022).

The Al-Houthi group arrested some young people in Ibb Province for chanting national slogans and demanding the departure of the group from the province and seized some houses of the leaders of the conference party and reform party and arrested their relatives during the month of March (March 23, 2022).


A report issued by the Human Rights Information & Training Center revealed that 341 civilians were killed and injured in Taiz last year by the Houthi fire. The Houthi caused the following:

  • 114 killings of civilians, including 9 women and 29 children.

  • 227 civilian casualties, including 68 children and 32 women.

    • 34 civilians, including 13 children and 6 women, were killed by various direct hits of heavy and medium-sized missiles.

    • 24 civilians, including 2 children, were killed by gunfire.

    • 14 civilians, including 7 children and 2 women, were killed by Houthi snipers.

    • 20 civilians, including a woman and 4 children, were killed by mine explosions.

    • A child was killed by a grenade explosion, and 2 civilians were killed by an improvised explosive device

    • Five civilians, including 1 child, were hung to death, 2 civilians were tortured to death, and 1 child was killed by an air strike.

    • 98 civilians, including 33 children and 15 women, were injured by Houthi artillery.

    • 44 civilians, including 18 children and 13 women, were injured by Houthi snipers.

    • 11 civilians, including 3 children, were shot.

    • 45 civilians, including 11 children and two women, were injured by mines. 

    • 21 civilians were injured by grenade explosions, and two other civilians were inured because of Houthi improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

    • Three civilians, including 2 children, were injured from getting hit by a Houthi military vehicle.

    • Four civilians, including two women and one child, were injured in other incidents (March 13, 2022).

The Houthi group demolished the Turkish memorial, which is located near the Defense Ministry compound in downtown Sana’a, which was built during a visit to former Turkish President Abdullah Gül in 2011 and in memory of Turkish soldiers who lost their lives in Yemen while serving the army of the Ottoman Empire (March 12, 2022).

Damascus University expelled Moataz al-Qrashi, who is a student and a Houthi group official, for plagiarizing his dentistry doctoral thesis, which he had submitted to the university.

The Committee for the Implementation of The Outcomes of the Hadhramaut Meeting (Harro), loyal to the Southern Transitional Council, announced the suspension of the production and export of oil through the oil company Calvalley, as part of the escalatory steps to pressure the local authorities in the province and the government (March 17, 2022).

The Yemeni government has received a tough worded letter from the UN Special Rapporteur on The Independence of Judges and Lawyers, demanding clarification on what judges in southern Yemen are exposed to (March 17, 2022).

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