Yemen's grinding seven-year war

1. Yemen
(Photo: AFP)
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — As the US sends a destroyer and fighter jets to help protect the UAE against missile attacks by Yemeni rebels, we look at the seven-year conflict in Yemen.اضافة اعلان

The war pits Iran-supported rebels against Yemeni government forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition that includes the UAE.

The conflict has left about 377,000 dead, according to the UN, either directly in the fighting or as a result of famine and disease.

2014: Houthis take capital

Houthi rebels from the Zaidi Shiite minority in northern Yemen seize the capital Sanaa in September 2014.

Backed by Iran, they ally themselves with military units loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, toppled by a 2011 uprising.

They also overrun most of the north, including the lifeline Red Sea port of Hudaydah.

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

2015: Saudis step in

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia enters the conflict in March 2015 with air strikes on 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 Aden, and in October they claim control of the Bab Al-Mandab strait, one of the world's most strategic waterways.

2018: Battle for key port

In June 2018, government fighters, backed by Saudi and Emirati ground forces, launch an offensive to retake Hudaydah, a key entry point for humanitarian aid.

UN-brokered talks between the warring parties open in December, with a ceasefire declared in Hudaydah.

But in mid-January 2021, clashes break out between rebels and pro-government soldiers in the south of the city.

Separatists flex muscles

The anti-Houthi camp is divided.

South Yemen was an independent state before unifying with the north in 1990, and southern separatists frequently clash with 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, separatists from the UAE-trained Security Belt force again clash with unionist troops.

Riyadh has since negotiated a power-sharing agreement and the formation of a new government.

2019: Saudi oil hit

The rebels escalate their attacks on Saudi Arabia, using drones and missiles.

A major hit on September 14, 2019 on the giant Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oilfield halves the kingdom's crude output.

Riyadh and Washington accuse Iran of being behind the attack, which it denies.

2021: New escalation

On February 8, 2021, the Houthis resume an offensive to seize oil-rich Marib province, the government's last northern stronghold.

The upsurge comes shortly after Washington ends its support for coalition military operations and removes the Houthis from a "terrorist" blacklist.

Fighting intensifies over the following months.

2022: Rebels turn on UAE

On January 3, 2022, the rebels seize an Emirati-flagged vessel in the Red Sea.

A week later pro-government forces with UAE backing claim to have retaken Shabwa province in a blow to rebel efforts to overrun neighboring Marib.

On January 17, a rebel drone and missile attack on an oil facility in Abu Dhabi kills two Indians and a Pakistani, the first deaths in the UAE.

The Saudi-led coalition kills 14 people in retaliatory air strikes on Sanaa.

On January 21, at least 70 people die and more than 100 are wounded in an air strike on a prison in northern Yemen.

At least three children die in a separate bombardment of Hudaydah.

US send warship, fighters

On January 24, US forces use Patriot interceptors against two ballistic missiles aimed at Abu Dhabi.

And on Monday, a third missile attack is thwarted during a visit by Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

On Tuesday, Washington announces it is sending the guided missile destroyer USS Cole and fighter jets to Abu Dhabi after a phone call from Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

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