This week was a particularly bad one for war-torn Yemen and its forlorn hopes of peace. Following a drone attack on two pumping stations in central Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Houthi-owned media claimed responsibility citing Riyadh’s “continued aggression and blockade” in Yemen. The strikes only further escalated the already fever pitch tensions in the Gulf (MEES, 17 May).

The same day, the United Nations confirmed that Houthi forces had handed over the strategic port of Hodeidah (see map) along with two other Red Sea ports as part of an ambitious ceasefire aiming to wind down the conflict. Reopening besieged Hodeidah is crucial to ending the Saudi blockade and thus provide Yemen’s starving population with medical and food aid. (CONTINUED - 1300 WORDS)