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

AFP , Thursday 2 Jun 2022

In Yemen, Saudi-backed government forces and Iran-backed Huthi rebels agreed on Thursday to renew a two-month truce that has offered some respite after seven years of war.

Yemen s Red Sea coastal city of Hodeida
A picture taken on May 28, 2022, shows loading docks at the port of Yemen s Red Sea coastal city of Hodeida, around 230 kilometres west of the capital. AFP


The conflict has killed some 380,000 people, directly or indirectly, according to UN data, in what was already one of the world's poorest nations.

2014: Rebels take capital

The Huthi rebels advance from their stronghold in Yemen's northern mountains 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.

2015, Hadi flees, Saudi enters

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

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

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.

Separatists flex muscle

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, the separatists again clash with the unionist troops.

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

2019: Saudi oil hit

The Huthis 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: Marib offensive

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 rebels resume an offensive to seize Yemen's oil-rich Marib province, the government's last northern stronghold.

2022: Rebels target UAE

In January 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 workers.

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 while drivers are on the track.

Truce and new leadership

On March 26, the rebels call a unilateral three-day truce, with the Saudi-led coalition responding with their own truce three days later.

A UN-brokered ceasefire starts on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on April 2.

The Saudi-led coalition agrees to allow fuel shipments into Hodeida and commercial flights to resume from the rebel-held capital Sanaa.

On April 7, President Hadi announces he is handing his powers to a new leadership council led by former interior minister Rashad al-Alimi, which will negotiate with the Huthis "to reach a ceasefire all over Yemen" and "a final political solution".

On June 2, the government and rebels agree at the 11th hour to renew their truce for a further two months.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online

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