Displaying items by tag: Yemen

In a deadly incident marking the first crew fatalities in commercial shipping due to Houthi strikes, three sailors have died following a Houthi missile attack on a ship in the Gulf of Aden. This attack was claimed by the Houthis and is part of a series of strikes they began last year in waters off Yemen. The MV True Confidence's crew had to abandon the ship after the attack, according to US officials. The British embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, initially reported two fatalities, which was later revised to three by the US Central Command. The attacked vessel, owned by Liberia-registered True Confidence Shipping and operated by Greece-based Third January Maritime Ltd, was left adrift with a fire on board. Rescue operations were underway, with some crew members already in lifeboats, as reported by the marine security firm Ambrey. Houthi militants have escalated attacks against international commercial shipping since mid-November, justifying these as actions in solidarity with Palestinians. These attacks have caused damage to several ships, but this is the first instance of merchant sailor fatalities. The incident underscores the growing danger in the region's key shipping routes, prompting some companies to alter or suspend their operations. The US and the UK are now focusing on improving intelligence on Houthi military assets and bolstering local naval forces to secure Yemen’s territorial waters. Despite this, there remains a high risk to all vessels in the area due to the ongoing conflict.

Published in Worldwide

On 17 January the US military launched a fourth round of missile strikes targeting Houthi-controlled sites in Yemen, aiming to prevent imminent threats to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region. These actions come after months of Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea, causing disruptions in trade between Asia and Europe. The Houthis, backed by Iran and controlling most of Yemen, claim their actions are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The Biden administration has now decided to designate them as ‘global terrorists’, reversing a decision made in 2021; however, some commentators felt that Biden was ‘playing with fire’, possibly worsening an already dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. Despite sanctions and previous military operations by US and British forces against the Houthis, they continue to target numerous vessels. The Pentagon press secretary confirmed that the US would persist in taking military action to try to prevent further attacks.

Published in Worldwide

On 9 January, the US and UK navies intercepted 21 drones and missiles fired in the southern Red Sea by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels - their 26th attack on global maritime trade routes within the past seven weeks. The navies claim to have successfully shot down 18 drones, two anti-ship cruise missiles, and one anti-ship ballistic missile. The UN security council has voted to demand an immediate halt to the attacks, calling them a threat to regional peace and security. The resolution also called for the immediate release of the Galaxy Leader, a Japanese-operated cargo ship with ties to an Israeli company which was seized by the Houthis in November. Because of the attacks, 20% of the world's container ships are now avoiding the Red Sea and using the much longer route around the southern tip of Africa instead.There are hints that the USA and UK are considering military action against the Houthis: see

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 28 July 2023 09:26

Yemen: portraits of resilience

They fled war and violence to find safety. They lost their homes, family members, neighbours and friends. They live in makeshift shelters, not knowing when they’ll be able to return home. In Yemen, millions are trapped in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, hoping for a better future. Abidah said, ‘We fled Hudaydah because the war was affecting my daughter. The sounds of rockets hitting the port terrified her. She screamed and could not stop. Now we’re in Aden, she has started talking again.’ An elderly father of ten said, ‘The war made us lose our humanity and value. Life in Aden’s camp is tiring. But complaining to someone other than God is humiliating. We have no future, it’s gone. I hope for a future for our children.'Thousands of children have been killed or maimed since the conflict began. Thousands more have been recruited into the fighting. Years of conflict, misery and grief have left millions in need of mental health and psychosocial services.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 21 April 2023 09:40

Yemen: peace talks

An agreement to restore relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran has opened the possibility of peace talks between Riyadh, which backs Yemen’s official rulers, and the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels. Saudi and Houthi representatives met with Omani mediators in Yemen last week to negotiate a permanent ceasefire. Pray for further progress. The UN estimates that 4.5 million Yemenis are displaced and two-thirds of the population are in dire need of humanitarian aid. In eight years Yemen has endured terrible suffering from bombs and mines causing needless deaths. The war is fuelled by Saudi Arabia, Britain, America and the United Arab Emirates - and also Iran, which has supplied funds and weapons to Houthi rebels. There are miles of negotiations and diplomatic manoeuvrings to go, but to reach this point is a tremendous tonic for Yemenis who have seen war plunge their beautiful and naturally resource-rich country into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 05 August 2022 09:58

Yemen: truce renewed - peace potential?

Six years into an armed conflict that has killed and injured over 18,400 civilians, Yemen remains the largest humanitarian crisis in the world and the world's worst food security crisis (20.1 million people, two-thirds of the population, need food assistance). On 2 August the warring parties agreed to extend a UN-brokered truce for another two months. The truce has brought the longest period of relative calm in over seven years and a significant decrease in civilian casualties and increased humanitarian access. The UN is seeking an extended and expanded truce to provide a platform for further trust-building, discussions on economic priorities, and establishing a permanent ceasefire. Turning the truce into a political agreement is challenging due to deep mistrust, competing agendas among the groups vying for power, and different ideas about what a peace process looks like. Pray for the UN to successfully reopen roads and negotiate nationwide salary payments.

Published in Worldwide

Iran's proxy militias have caused the decline of Christians in many regions by adopting ‘forced immigration’. In Lebanon Hezbollah targets missionaries, impedes conversions, imposes strict dress codes and alcohol bans, and limits mixed sexes in public, in what have been dubbed ‘mini-Tehrans.’ A sizeable amount of land owned by Christians has been taken over by Hezbollah through eviction. In Iraq, initially employed to resist American forces, the Shiite Mahdi Army has changed the demography, Making Baghdad 'Christian-free' was high on its agenda when they morphed into IS. Iran had influence in Syria through the Assad family (Alawite Sunni). After the uprising Iran restructured the Syrian Army and created several militias within the Shia Liberation Army. It saved the Assad regime, killing 600,000 people, displacing 6.5 million internally, and forcing 6.6 million to flee Syria. In Yemen the Houthis have invested considerable effort into ending the Christian presence in the territories under their control.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 24 March 2022 20:45

Iran: Houthis should be on terrorist list

The Houthi terrorists are based in Yemen. Recently, senior Houthi leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi went on an antisemitic tirade supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine, stating, ‘It is because Ukraine’s President is Jewish. Any country run by a Jew ends up going to war.’ His statement gives an insight into what to expect from Iran and its proxies. Many are saying, ‘We must recognise Iran for what it is and redesignate the Houthis, who operate as a weapon of war for the Iranian regime.’ Currently Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are raising serious concerns about any new agreement between the USA and Iran that involves Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability. They see that embracing Iran comes from a false hope that it will lead to better behaviour by its regime and terrorist proxies.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 20 January 2022 19:51

Somalia / Libya / Yemen: persecuted Christians

In Somalia, Islam is the state religion, and almost everyone is Muslim. The number of Christians is believed to be in the hundreds. Pray that each of our brothers and sisters will find continued strength and hope in Jesus ‘so that they will not grow weary or lose heart’ (Hebrews 12:3). In Libya Christians who want to stay safe must live a secret life of faith. This is made harder by there not being a centralised government. Laws are not widely enforced, making Christians further exposed to persecution. Pray for the provision of a government that strives to protect all its people. Secret Christians in Yemen live under constant threat because of their faith. Ask God to give them wisdom and boldness as they live out the gospel. Pray, too, for peace and stability in a country that has been engulfed in civil war for nearly a decade.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 11 November 2021 20:54

Yemen: rising severe mental health problems

Now in its seventh year, the crisis in Yemen is no longer headline news. But the conflict continues to have a devastating impact on people’s wellbeing, and on their mental health in particular. In Hajjah, Doctors Without Borders teams have found a high need for mental health services. The range of conditions that they treat is very large; there are people suffering from anxiety and insomnia, psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. They regularly see patients following suicide attempts: such an attempt might be provoked by a variety of circumstances. Severe symptoms of psychosis can manifest as auditory hallucinations which tell the patient to hurt him or herself, or a patient might be suffering from severe depression. Lack of awareness leads to stigma, discrimination, and segregation, and this leads to people hiding their conditions. Yemen’s conflict has also reduced access to healthcare, education, and food, as well as restricting freedom of movement.

Published in Worldwide
Page 1 of 5