After nearly three years of conflict, Yemen, as a State, has all but ceased to exist. Instead of a single State there are warring statelets, and no one side has either the political support or the military strength to reunite the country or to achieve victory on the battlefield.
In the north, the Houthis are working to consolidate their hold on Sana’a and much of the highlands after a five-day street battle in the city that ended with the execution of their one-time ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh (YEi.003), on 4 December 2017. In the days and weeks that followed, the Houthis crushed or co-opted much of what remained of the former President’s network in Yemen.
In the south, the Government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi was weakened by the defection of several governors to the newly formed Southern Transition Council, which advocates for an independent south Yemen. Another challenge for the Government is the existence of proxy forces, armed and funded by member States of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, who pursue their own objectives on the ground. The battlefield dynamics are further complicated by the terrorist groups Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Da’esh), both of which routinely carry out strikes against the Houthis, the Government and Saudi Arabia-led coalition targets.
The end of the Houthi-Saleh alliance opened a window of opportunity for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and forces loyal to the Government of Yemen to regain territory. This window is unlikely to last for long, however, or to be sufficient in and of itself to end the war.
The launch of short-range ballistic missiles, first by forces of the Houthi-Saleh alliance and subsequently, following the end of the alliance, by Houthi forces against Saudi Arabia, changed the tenor of the conflict and has the potential to turn a local conflict into a broader regional one.
The Panel has identified missile remnants, related military equipment and military unmanned aerial vehicles that are of Iranian origin and were brought into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo. As a result, the Panel finds that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 (2015) in that it failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of Borkan-2H short-range ballistic missiles, field storage tanks for liquid bipropellant oxidizer for missiles and Ababil-T (Qasef-1) unmanned aerial vehicles to the then Houthi-Saleh alliance.