A Yemeni fighter loyal to the country's exiled president walks past a tank on a road in the southwestern city of Taez on April 11, 2016. Image Credit: AFP

Sana’a: A Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen a year ago after Iran-backed Al Houthi rebels overran the capital Sana’a in September 2014 and later advanced to seize most of the country.

Here are some key dates:


March 23: Yemen asks UN and GCC to intervene militarily in Yemen to hold back Iran-backed Al Houthi expansion

March 25: Yemen president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi escapes his bombed presidential palace in Aden and appears in the Saudi Arabian capital

March 26: Saudi Arabia and allied Arab states, including the UAE, respond to Yemen government’s call for help and begin massive air bombing campaign dubbed Operation Decisive Storm against Al Houthi expansion. The coalition imposes air and naval blockade to prevent Iran from sending weapons to the militants.

April 2: Al Qaida exploits nationwide chaos to storm the southern port city of Al Mukalla, the fifth largest city in Yemen

April 17: UN chief Ban Ki-moon calls for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen, two days after world powers impose an arms embargo on Yemeni rebels and demand they relinquish territory seized in a sweeping offensive.

April 21: Saudi Arabia announces end of Decisive Storm operation and the start of Operation Restoring Hope

Mid-June: Yemen’s warring factions come together for the first time in Geneva in a bid to resolve the conflict. The talks are followed in December by a fruitless session with several ceasefires that are not respected.

July 1: The United Nations declares Yemen a level-3 humanitarian emergency, the highest on its scale. At least 2.5 million people have been internally displaced with 14.5 million — more than half of the population — facing food shortages, it says.

July 17: Yemeni forces push Al Houthis out of Aden. Neighbouring provinces like Abyan and Lahj fall subsequently.

September 4: At least 50 coalition soldiers, mostly from the UAE, are killed in a rocket blast in central Marib. The coalition responds by intensifying air bombing against rebel military positions in the capital.

September 22: President Hadi returns to Aden

December 18: Government forces recapture Hazem city, the capital of the northern province of Jawf


February 11: Government forces seize control of Fardhat Nehim military base, the first major victory inside Sana’a province

February 18: UN envoy Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad tells the UN Security Council that “deep divisions persist that prevent me from calling for the next round of talks”. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel AlJubeir says the coalition has helped the government reclaim more than three-quarters of Yemeni territory from the rebels and their allies.

March 11: Government forces break Al Houthis’ year-long siege of Taiz, the third largest city

March 12: For the first time, the coalition conducts air strikes on Al Qaida terrorists in Aden. Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and Daesh are exploiting a lack of security in the south to broaden their influence there. The authorities blame Daesh for an attack on March 4 in Aden on a missionary hospice, in which 16 are killed, including four nuns, while an Indian priest is kidnapped.

March 23: UN envoy Ould Shaikh Ahmad announces a ceasefire to be observed across Yemen on April 10, followed by peace talks on April 18.

April 16: In an interview with Kuwait daily Al Ra’i, Mohammad Abdul Salam, an Al Houthi spokesman, says the rebel group has agreed to cede Sana’a to the legitimate Yemeni government and allow them to return and operate. In a major policy shift, he also says his group agrees to disarm, a key demand in a UN Security Council resolution. He says Al Houthis promise to condemn Iranian action and interference in Yemen’s domestic affairs.