Monthly Briefing / January – 2022

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Political Scene:

The incident of the Houthis’ piracy of the United Arab Emirate (UAE) ship, “Rawabi”, in the Red Sea, brought a new aspect to the continuing war in Yemen. The Houthis targeted Abu Dhabi International Airport with missiles and drones, which heightened tensions between the Houthis and the Saudi-led Coalition to Support government in Yemen and had negative repercussions on the general political and military track of Yemen, as well.

The Houthis used drones, ballistic missiles and winged missiles to target three tankers that were transporting petroleum fuel in the Mussafah ICAD area near Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) tanks, killing three people of different nationalities.

The UAE had delivered a letter of protest to the members of the UN Security Council after the Houthi group pirated the cargo ship, “Rawabi”, which was transporting medical equipment from Socotra Island to the Saudi city of Jizan, and carrying 11 sailors of different nationalities who are still abducted.

The UAE officially requested that the United States of America reclassify the Houthi insurgency as a terrorist organization, especially after the group aimed missiles and drones at the Abu Dhabi airport, wounding and killing arriving civilians.

The League of Arab States has unanimously condemned the Houthi terrorist attack that targeted the city of Abu Dhabi. And, the UAE has called on all countries to classify the group as a “terrorist organization”.

So, United States President Joe Biden’s administration has been studying the possibility of reclassifying the Houthi group (which is loyal to Iran) as a terrorist organization, after it targeted the Abu Dhabi airport with its artillery.

The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, says that the year 2021 ended in a horrific and tragic way because of the military escalation in Ma’rib and the heavy civilian casualties. The UN has expressed its deep concern about the Houthis’ accusations of militarizing ports plus the Saudi-led Coalition’s threat to attack them.

The UN Sanctions and Other Committees’ team of experts has continued to investigate the Houthi group’s attempt to support the Iranian Revolutionary Guard with an amount of 35 billion Yemeni Riyals ($140 million US) consisting of 5,000 new, forged and printed banknotes, a shipment of which was seized in May 2017 in the Al Jawf Governorate, in eastern Yemen.

Iran announced its intention to appoint a new ambassador to the Houthi group in Sana’a to succeed Hassan Erlo, who died last month under mysterious circumstances after he was transferred from Sana’a to Tehran with the consent of the Saudi-led Coalition.

Reza Qassemian, deputy governor of the Iranian Ardabil Province during the burial ceremony of Hassan Erlo, confirms that the allied resistance in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen are working to prevent enemies from directly attacking Iran.

During an official visit to Abu Dhabi, Yemen Prime Minister Dr. Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, accompanied by a high-level delegation, was to discuss, with the UAE leaders, supporting the National Army and economy to put an end to the currency collapse.

The UN Sanctions and Other Committees for Yemen, handed the president of the UN Security Council a summary of their activities during 2021, along with a detailed report.

Retired Irish Major General Michael Perry was appointed to chair the Joint Committee for the redeployment in Hodeidah, western Yemen.

The leader of The General People’s Congress party, Awad bin al-Wazir Al-Awlaki, who is supported by the Saudi-led Coalition, will carry out his duties as governor of Shabwah Governorate, succeeding former governor Mohammed Saleh bin Adio.

The Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al Jaber, meets with the leaders of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform party (Islah) in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, after Al-Awlaki became the governor of Shabwah, to discuss political and military efforts to confront the Houthi group (which is backed by Iran).

Military Scene:

The Giants Brigades (supported by the Saudi-led Coalition) completed the liberation of the three districts of Shabwah (Bayhan, Usailan and Al Ain) from the control of the Houthi group after launching extensive military operations with heavy and direct support from the Coalition aircraft, led by Saudi Arabia, and the operation made a positive impact on the military situation in Ma’rib. The army managed to liberate strategic locations and changed  the strategy from defense to offense. 

The Saudi-led Coalition to Support government in Yemen, through the official spokesman, Brigadier General Turki bin Al-Maliki, launches a new operation in the name of “Freedom of Happy Yemen” to complete the liberation of Yemen and its annexation from the Houthi.

The Houthi group currently controls the Emirati cargo ship “Rawabi” after it was seized in the Red Sea while it was on a naval mission from the Yemeni island of Socotra to Jizan Port, in southern Saudi Arabia, with 11 sailors of five nationalities on board.

The Giants Brigades (backed by the Saudi-led Coalition) declares the Shabwah Governorate completely liberated, after the Al Ain district is finally liberated. It was the last stronghold of the Houthi militia in the governorate, and the National Army is now participating in the liberation of neighboring districts in the Ma’rib Governorate, in eastern Yemen.

Major General Mujahid Ahmed al-Hubairi, field leader and commander of the 107th Infantry Brigade of the Houthis, was killed after violent battles with the National Army forces in Ma’rib Governorate, east of Yemen.

The Third Brigade Giants commander, Majdi al-Radfani, has died due to his injury in the battles that took place (in Shabwah Governorate) with the Houthi group, during the liberation of the Bayhan district.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen confirms the killing and wounding of more than 100 people in an attack (for which the Saudi-led Coalition denied responsibility) targeting a detention center in the city of Saada managed by the Houthi group. Then, the United Nations calls for an investigation into the incident.

A missile attack by the Houthi group (pro-Iran) on the lower Markha District in Shabwah Governorate, killing five people and wounding 15 other soldiers from The Giants Brigades (supported by the Saudi-led Coalition).

The National Army (5th Military Region) destroyed 15 sea mines off the coast of Hajjah Governorate, northwest of Yemen, that had been threatening the lives of fishermen and international navigation and were planted by the Houthi group.

Colonel Mansour Abdullah Al-Attiyah, commander of the installation forces in Al-Jawf Governorate, affiliated with the government, was killed in the ongoing battles against the Houthi in the Al-Faliha front in Maysara, south of the governorate.

Security Scene:

Security  imbalances have accrued in a number of governorates under the government-controlled areas, especially in Aden, Hadramawt and Taiz.

The Minister of the Interior returned to the capital, Aden, after being prevented from entering by the Southern Transitional Council (which is loyal to the UAE).

The U.S. Navy intercepts an unidentified ship in the Arabian Sea (off the Yemeni coast) carrying 385 kilograms of narcotics worth about $4 million US, with 10 Iranians on board, and another ship carrying materials used in the manufacture of explosives, launched from Iran and believed to be heading to Yemen.

The United Nations issued a report which speculates that the Iranian port of Jask is likely to be the source of the weapons that the U.S. Navy had seized in the Arabian Sea in the previous month, while on their way to the Houthi group in Yemen.

A force affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council (which is loyal to the UAE) stormed the building of the Yemeni Oil Company in the Al-Mualla district in the temporary capital of Aden, expelled the employees and remained stationed inside the building for days.

The local authority in Hadramawt Governorate declares a state of emergency and raises the degree of awareness to the highest level. It begins with the preparation of the public defense force to confront the Houthi. There are security imbalances within the governorate due to the activity of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council. The governorate authority breaks up a sit-in by protesters and arrests a group of activists and nobles, most notably Sheikh Saleh bin Hariz, who participated in the protests in front of  the  government building.

The United Nations Ceasefire Monitoring Mission in Hodeidah (UNMHA) demands that it be allowed to inspect the ports of Hodeidah at the request of the Saudi-led Coalition, a week after the Emirati ship was hijacked near the port of Saleef by the Houthi group, which refused the request.

The former director general of the Seera district, Khaled Seido, survived an assassination attempt — the second in a year — when leaving his home in Crater district, Aden.

In the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Qaeda announces the killing of one of its military leaders, Saleh bin Salem bin Obaid Abulan, who used to work as an adviser to bin Laden in Afghanistan, in an American strike in Yemen.

Unidentified gunmen storm the office of Yemen Shabab TV Channel, located in the city of Taiz (southern Yemen), assault its technical staff, kidnap journalist Abdul Rahman Al-Shawafi and release him later.

Economic  Scene:

Great concerns prevail among the commercial sector in Yemen after the tension that followed the recent Houthi attack, with missiles and drones, on Abu Dhabi city, because Dubai ports are a major center for commercial shipping directed to Yemen, which may negatively affect the deteriorating economic situation, especially with the escalation of the collapse of the riyal against international currencies.

An official document (issued by the Ministry of Finance) reveals that the Aden Refinery Company squandered at least $15 million US, plus no less than $4 billion US, as well as 421 million Yemeni riyals and deposited the funds in a private bank account.

The sixth shipment of the Saudi oil derivatives grant, estimated to be 60,000 tons of diesel and provided through the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY), has arrived in the city of Aden, bringing the total quantity of diesel received to 394 thousand metric tons, which is just 37% of the amount specified in the oil grant agreement, which was 909,621 metric tons of diesel.

The state oil company in Aden raises fuel prices by about 30% to bring it in line with the changes in global fuel market prices and the decline of the Yemen currency. Now, the price of a 20-liter gallon of gasoline is 17,700 riyals (about $16.5), from 13,200 riyals ($13), an increase by 4,500 riyals (about $4.50).

Humanitarian Scene:

The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen is getting worse each and every day and is directly affected by the continuing war. International reports continue to describe the general humanitarian devastation in Yemen, as well as the humanitarian situations in camps for the displaced migrants, especially in Ma’rib.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announces the arrival of 12 million doses of Polio vaccines to the temporary capital of Aden to protect 10 million children under the age of 10. Also, the UN expresses deep concern about the continued detention of two of its employees in Sana’a, by the Houthi, who denied the UN the right to communicate with the employees or find out their health status.

As a result of a fire that broke out in the Al-Jufaina camp, the largest camp for the displaced people (containing 9,000 families), in the Ma’rib Governorate, east of Yemen, three children died and five others were injured. They were all from one family.

The first flight loaded with humanitarian and medical supplies from the UAE arrives at Ataq Airport, in Shabwah Governorate, resuming these kinds of flight after being out of service for more than seven years.

Sheikh Ahmed Abdo Omran (70 years old), the father of kidnapped journalist Abdul-Khaliq Omran, who had been hidden away by the Houthi militia since 2015, has passed away after waiting and hoping to see his son again.

A government report confirms that the number of displaced people from Ibb Governorate, currently under the control of the Houthi group, has risen to 9,000 families, which are distributed throughout a number of governorates of the republic, most notably being Ma’rib, Al-Dhalea, Hadhramaut, Al-Mahra, Taiz and Aden.

The government confirms that Polio cases have recently reappeared in the country. This unfortunate occurrence is due to the failure to implement vaccination campaigns, which the Houthi still refuses to implement, even up to the date of this report; Yemen had previously declared control of the Polio epidemic permanently in 2005.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has reported that the number of people who are displaced due to the conflict in Yemen has risen to 4.2 million.


In less than a week of back-and-forth bombardment between the Houthi and the Saudi-led Coalition, more than 130 people were killed (from Sana’a, Hodeidah and Saada), most of whom were civilians. There are also Human Rights reports on violations against prisoners and abductees in prisons.

The Houthi bombed the house of the Brigadier General, Nasser Al-Quhaih, Director General of Usaylan District in Shabwah Governorate, with a ballistic missile, 14 people were killed and nine others were injured, including a child. 

Houthi Brigadier General Abdullah Qassem al-Junaid, the head of the Aviation Academy, and eight members of his family were killed by Saudi-led Coalition jet fighters in an air strike that targeted his house in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a. 

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties documents the deaths of 150 people who had been tortured in prisons, some of which are illegal, affiliated with the Houthi group (loyal to Iran), the Southern Transitional Council (loyal to UAE), the  Political Security prison in Ma’rib (the government) and prisons inside Saudi Arabia.

A young man, Abdo Abdullah Al-Zumar, died as a result of the brutal beating he was subjected to by six people in Al-Farid Village in Damt District, within the Dhale Governorate.

Four civilians were killed and others were injured in a missile attack launched by the Houthi on a fuel station in the Usaylan District of Shabwah Governorate, in southeast Yemen.

Houthi group kidnaps Islamic preacher and two spiritual guides (imams) based on of a fatwa  (Islamic ruling) that it is not permissible to fight under Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, the kidnapped follow the Zaidi scholar, Muhammad Abdullah Awad Al-Mu’aydi Al-Dhahyani, and two others follow, Abdul Hamid Abu Ali, one of the leaders of the Zaidis.

Four civilians were killed in a landmine explosion in three civilian vehicles on the desert road linking the Safer area and the city of Harib, southeast of Ma’rib Governorate.

The Houthi group kidnapped two young men in the Khamer district of Amran governorate (north of Sana’a) on charges of attempting to assassinate the Houthi leader, Abu Ali Al-Hakim, and began to seize the abductee’s house, Dr. Nasr Al-Salami, in preparation for the confiscation through the Specialized Criminal Court in Sana’a.

A student was killed and six others were wounded by a missile fired by the Houthi group on Al-Huda School in Maqbna, west of Taiz Governorate, southwest of Yemen.

A Houthi group kidnapped two grandchildren of one of the tribal elders of Amran governorate, Sheikh Saleh Mohsen Al-Ghashmi, from a school in the capital, Sana’a, and recruited them.

The Saudi project to clear mines in Yemen, called Masam, confirms that the explosive devices extracted in Shabwah Governorate contain modern technology and are made of materials imported from outside Yemen. They are completely different from the mines that were used previous times.

Violations against freedom of the press, in 2021, ranging from killing, injury, kidnapping, assault and targeting media institutions:

  • 4 murders;

  • 6 cases of infection;

  • 18 arrests;

  • 9 cases of assault;

  • 13 threat cases and interrogation;

  • 12 cases of displacement, looting and suspension of media  outlets; and

  • 4 cases of violations — breaking into homes, looting, incitement and arbitrary dismissal.

Forty instances of violations by the Houthi insurgency, committed by top perpetrators:

  • 21 violations, by the government;

  • 11 violations, by the Southern Transitional Council (backed by the UAE);

  • 3 violations recorded against influential people; and

  • 9 violations recorded against unknown persons.

  • 50 journalists and media workers were killed between 2015 and 2021.

  • 17 violations in the city of Taiz;

  • 16 violations in the city of Sana’a;

  • 15 violations in the city of Aden;

  • 20 violations in Ma’rib Governorate;

  • 9 violations in Hadhramaut Governorate;

  • 4  violations in the city of Ibb;

  • 3 violations in the city of Lahj;

  • 1 instance in Shabwah Governorate; and

  • 1 instance in the city of Amran.

The National Committee will investigate allegations of human rights violations in Yemen, which document the killing and injury of 1,237 civilians, including women and children, during last year (2021): ا اللجنة الوطنية

  • 403 killed civilians;

  • 30 women killed;

  • 48 children killed;

  • 768 civilian casualties;

  • 85 infected women;

  • 167 injured children;

  • 296 killed by mines;

  • 17 women killed by mines;

  • 35 children killed by mines;

  • 1,158 incidents of arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, torture and targeting;

  • 23 instances of targeting an archaeological and religious schools;

  • 15 incidents of assault on medical personnel, facilities and health facilities;

  • 580 public and private buildings destroyed;

  • 17 schools for children were destroyed; and

  • 122 incidents of children under 15 years old being recruited.

General News:

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi issues two Republican decisions, appointing two ambassadors to Yemen. The first is the appointment of Dr. Muhammad Abdul-Wahed Muhammad Al-Maitami as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China. The second is the appointment of Muhammad Salih Tariq as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Turkey.

During the rule of President Ibrahim Al-Hamdi, in the 1970s, a member of the Leader of Council died. The former commander of the parachute forces, Abdullah Abdul Alem, has remained silent in his self-imposed exile in both Damascus and Cairo.

The team of experts of the International Sanctions Committee accuses the Houthi group of fabricating fuel crises in the areas they control so they can force merchants to sell their fuel on the Houthi-run black market and charge the merchant illegal fees from the sale.

A Houthi group organizes a sports game in Sana’a in the name of the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Qasim Soleimani, on the second anniversary of his assassination, and the General Sports Federation imposes sanctions on Al-Ahli Club Sana’a and the people of Sana’a, and the federation threatens to remove it from any upcoming participation in sports matches.

The Yemeni Public Telecommunications Corporation, which is currently under the control of the Houthi, confirms that the Internet service has been suspended for four days as a result of a Saudi-led Coalition raid that targeted the communications building in the city of Hodeidah, in western Yemen. Concerned engineers assert that the suspension was intentional. 

The family of writer Mohammed Naji Ahmed said, in a statement, that he died after being subjected to a political assassination and accusing the Houthis of not taking the incident seriously, as it deserves.

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