Today marks the eighth anniversary since the intervention of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition into Yemen’s conflict. Yemen’s Houthi rebel group
Today marks the eighth anniversary since the intervention of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition into Yemen’s conflict.
Yemen’s Houthi rebel group marked the occasion earlier this week with military drills—using helicopters, drones, and missiles—accompanied by a warning by the group’s defense ministry that continued military activity by the Saudi-led coalition would result in severe consequences.
The move followed a recent agreement between the Yemeni government and the Houthi group to swap nearly 900 prisoners after UN and ICRC-mediated talks in Switzerland. The Houthi rebels agreed to release 181 detainees—including 15 Saudi nationals—in exchange for 706 government prisoners. While the deal was seen by the UN and the US as a step in the right direction, the recent military drill—along with the breaking out of several gunfights in the south of the country—has sparked fears that the situation may once again worsen.
The prisoner swap is likely to occur without major issues, as the Houthi group stands to gain significantly from it. However, repeated military action by the group suggests that they are not willing to cede any control, and thus that continued conflict is likely.