ACAPS Briefing Note: Yemen - Escalation of Conflict (2 April 2015)

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Crisis Overview

  • The escalation of the conflict between the Shi’ite Houthi movement and its allies, and President Hadi’s anti-Houthi coalition, backed by Western and Gulf Cooperation Council allies, intensifies urgent protection concerns for the civilian population. Local partners estimate the number of internally displaced due to recent fighting at 100,000 persons.

  • Conflict has escalated since 23 March, affecting 13 out of 21 governorates.
    Fragmentation and complex, at times transitory, alliances characterise the conflict.
    Several local militias have supported the Government. Armed Sunni tribesmen and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have also been fighting the Houthi advance, while AQAP continues to oppose the Government. Attacks by Islamic State and AQAP, and AQAP’s territorial expansion are aggravating the situation.

  • Widespread armed clashes occurred on 26 March and are ongoing in Al Dhale’e,
    Lahj, and Aden governorates.

  • On 26 March, Saudi Arabia, backed by a coalition of other countries, launched Operation Decisive Storm with air attacks on Houthi positions, mainly in Sanaa,
    Aden, Taizz and Sa’ada. Despite airstrikes, Houthis appear to continue advancing southwards. Ground forces are reportedly a possibility. On 1 April, the Yemeni Government called for ground troops from the Saudi-led coalition. Yemeni President Hadi had fled to Saudi Arabia by 27 March.