Timeline: Yemen war began in 2014 when Houthis seized Sanaa


CAIRO — Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Wednesday targeted an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, causing a civilian plane on the tarmac to catch fire. The attack came just a few days after President Joe Biden announced the U.S. would end its support for the Saudi-led coalition’s war against the Houthi rebels.

Yemen’s war began in September 2014, when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa. Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and other countries, entered the war alongside Yemen’s internationally recognized government in March 2015. The war has killed some 130,000 people and driven the Arab world’s poorest country to the brink of famine.

Here are some key events:

September 2014: The Houthis, Yemen’s Iran-backed rebels allied with forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seize Sanaa.

February 2015: The Houthis appoint a presidential council, known as the Supreme Political Council, to replace President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Mar. 23, 2015: The battle for Aden begins. The rebels and their allies seize control of Aden International Airport and Hadi flees to Saudi Arabia.

Mar. 26, 2015: A Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition begins an air campaign against the Houthis and imposes a naval blockade.

April 2015: The U.N. Security Council imposes an arms embargo on the Houthis.

May 5, 2015: Houthi rebels fire mortar rounds and rockets at the Saudi city of Najran, near the border, killing at least three civilians.

June 2015: A U.S. airstrike kills al-Qaida’s number 2, the head of its Yemeni branch, Nasir al-Wahishi. (do we need this? seems exterior to the war)

September 2015: Hadi returns to Aden after Saudi-backed government forces retake the port city.

April 2016: U.N.-sponsored talks between the government and rebels begin.

August 2016: The coalition closes Sanaa airport to commercial flights.

October 2016: An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hits a crowded funeral in Sanaa, killing at least 140 mourners.

May 2017: The Houthis say they fired a ballistic missile at the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

November 2017: The coalition imposes a complete blockade on Yemen in response to a missile fired by the Houthis at the Riyadh airport. On Nov. 22, the coalition announces a partial lifting of the blockade.

December 2017: Houthis kill former president Saleh following days of street fighting in Sanaa, after he reached out to the Saudi-led coalition, indicating he might switch sides.

June 10, 2018: Saudi Arabia says three civilians in the kingdom’s south have been killed by incoming fire from Yemen’s rebels.

June 12, 2018: Hadi visits the United Arab Emirates, meeting with Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for the first time.

June 13, 2018: The coalition launches an offensive on the port city of Hodeida, Yemen’s main entry point for food and humanitarian aid.

Aug. 9, 2018: An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hits a bus driving in a busy market in the northern Saada province, killing at least 50 people, including children, and wounding 77.

May 15, 2019: Houthi drones attack an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia.

June 23, 2019: Houthi bomb-laden drones target the Saudi airport in Abha, killing one person and wounding seven.

July 8, 2019: Emirati official says UAE has drawn down its troop levels in Yemen.

Aug. 2, 2019: Al-Qaida militants target a military camp in Abyan province, killing at least 20 troops.

Aug. 8, 2019: Southern separatists backed by the UAE clash with forces of the internationally backed government near the presidential palace in the southern city of Aden.

Aug. 10, 2019: The UAE-backed separatists wrest control of Aden.

Aug. 17, 2019: Houthis launch drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s Shaybah oil field, near the kingdom’s border with the UAE.

Aug. 29, 2019: Emirati warplanes target Yemeni government troops as they head to retake Aden from separatists, killing at least 30.

Sept. 14, 2019: Houthi rebels launch drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, halting about half of the supplies from the world’s largest exporter of oil.

Nov. 15, 2019: Yemen’s internationally recognized government and its southern rivals sign a power-sharing deal, aiming to end the infighting in the country’s south.

Jan. 18, 2020: A missile attack by the Houthis hits an army camp the central province of Marib, killing at least at least 111 troops and wounding at least 68.

Jan. 25, 2020: A U.S. drone strike kills al-Qaida leader Qassim al-Rimi in Marib province.

February 2020: Airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition kill at least three dozen people, including 26 children and six women, in the mountainous northern province of Jawf. The attack comes after Houthis shot down a coalition warplane.

March 1, 2020: Houthi rebels take control of the strategic city of Hazm, the capital of Jawf province.

April 8, 2020: The Saudi-led coalition announces a two-week cease-fire in Yamen to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

April 10, 2020: Yemen announces the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus.

June 2020: UAE-backed separatists take control of Socotra archipelago, from forces of Yemen’s internationally recognized government.

Oct. 16, 2020: Yemen’s warring sides complete the war’s largest prisoner exchange.

Oct. 22, 2020: Iran announces the arrival of its ambassador in Houthi-held capital, Sanaa.

Nov. 23, 2020: Houthis say they struck a Saudi oil facility in the port city of Jiddah with a new cruise missile.

Dec. 18, 2020: President Hadi announces a Cabinet reshuffle.

Dec. 30, 2020: A large explosion strikes the airport in Aden, shortly after a plane carrying the newly formed Cabinet landed there. At least 25 people are killed and 110 wounded.

Jan. 10, 2021: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces he will designate the Houthis as a “foreign terrorist organization.” He says the designation will take effect on Jan. 19, one day before Joe Biden takes office.

Jan. 27, 2021: The Biden administration places at least temporary holds on several big-ticket arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Feb. 4, 2021: Biden says the U.S. is ending support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen and calls for a cease-fire.

Feb. 5, 2021: A State Department official says the Biden administration is moving to revoke the designation of Houthis as a terrorist group.

Feb. 10, 2021: Houthi rebels target Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport with bomb-laden drones, causing a civilian plane on the tarmac to catch fire.

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