Yemeni government forces, supported by the UAE and Saudi airstrikes, launched an offensive targeting Houthi positions in Sa'ada governorate beginning Tuesday, August 21. Government forces reportedly seized Baqim district in northern Sa'ada on Tuesday while also moving against Maran, the hometown of Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi. Houthi forces declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, August 22, admitting heavy losses of personnel, materiel, and terrain, and evacuating their senior leadership. Continued clashes are expected in the near-future as coalition forces attempt to seize the symbolic area and capture or kill Houthi leadership.
Yemen is engaged in a complex and deadly conflict, ongoing since Houthi rebels entered into a civil war with the Yemeni government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, in 2015. The Saudi-led coalition has carried out thousands of airstrikes in Yemen since its intervention began. Hundreds of Yemeni civilians have been killed in the strikes, which have hit schools, hospitals, and markets, in addition to Houthi militant positions and personnel. In total, more than 10,000 Yemenis have died in the fighting and some 3 million have been displaced.
Due to poor security conditions, many Western governments strongly advise their citizens against all travel to Yemen. Travel to the country should only be considered with proper security protocols in place. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.