Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology: Yemen

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology: Yemen

Article excerpt

See also Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan

Jan. 20: Huthi rebels seized the presidential palace in Sana'a and looted arms depots following brief clashes with palace guards. The battle came a day after Huthi forces exchanged intense artillery fire with the army, surrounded the residence of Prime Minister Khalid Bahah, and seized Yemen's state news agency. [Guardian, 1/20]

Jan. 22: A United Nations special envoy met with President 'Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Huthi leaders to oversee the implementation of a treaty drafted after several days of Huthi aggression against the Yemeni regime in Sana'a. The deal reached on January 21 required a Huthi retreat from the grounds of the presidential palace, among other sites, and also promised a number of political concessions from President Hadi. Since seizing control of much of the capital in late 2013, the Huthis had gradually exerted themselves as the dominant political faction in Yemen. [NYT, 1/22]

President Hadi and the rest of the government resigned after several days of intense negotiations with Huthi rebels. Officials close to the president claimed that he resigned after Huthis demanded a number of political concessions, including a speech intended to calm protesters. The power vacuum created by the resignations caused concern across the international community, particularly in the United States, due to Yemen's status as a battleground in the fight against terrorism and home to alQa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). [Guardian, 1/22]

Jan. 24: Nearly 20,000 people protested in the streets of Sana'a against the perceived power grab by Huthi rebels. Demonstrators demanded the restoration of the president and violently clashed with Huthi soldiers in a number of locations. Three protesters were reportedly wounded in Hudayda after Huthi forces fired on a crowd. [WSJ, 1/25]

Jan. 25: Several protesters were shot and dozens arrested near Sana'a University when Huthi soldiers attempted to break up a demonstration. The Huthi militiamen also attacked journalists, injuring several and smashing their camera equipment. Demonstrations erupted against the Huthis in the aftermath of their seizure of power. [AJE, 1/25, Al Arabiya, 1/26]

Jan. 26: A US drone strike in Ma'rib killed several suspected members of AQAP. The operation came only days after the resignation of Yemen's government following a Huthi takeover in Sana'a and signaled American determination to continue combating AQAP. Although the Huthis and AQAP were enemies of one another, US operations were on unfamiliar ground considering the antiAmerican stance of the Huthi movement. [LA Times, 1/26]

Feb. 5: AQAP confirmed that a US drone strike in Ma'rib governorate killed four of its members including Harith bin Ghazi Nazari, an influential figure on the organization's shari'a committee. Despite the Huthi seizure of power in the end of January, the US continued its campaign of drone strikes against AQAP. [LA Times, 2/5]

Feb. 6: Huthi rebels dissolved parliament and announced plans for a new government, ending several months of power struggles and firmly cementing the group's takeover of Yemeni politics. In a plan outlined via a television address, a Huthi spokesperson declared the formation of a 151-person governing council to rule the country for two years. The United Nations refused to acknowledge the Huthi declaration, despite the UN's integral mediation role in the process. [LA Times, 2/6]

Feb. 11: A group of AQAP supporters in Yemen declared their allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and renounced their ties to al-Qa'ida. Although AQAP was still considered the most powerful affiliate of al-Qa'ida, the announcement represented growing fractures in the broader Salafi-jihadi movement. Organizations in countries including Libya and Egypt had previously pledged allegiance to ISIS, signaling a potential shift in power structures of the movement. [Reuters, 2/11]

Several Western countries, including the United States, France, and Great Britain, evacuated their embassies amid security concerns. …

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