Yemen Crisis - Timeline and Operation Rahat

Yemen Crisis - Timeline and Operation Rahat

Question: Yemen is undergoing a severe crisis caught in the conflict between Shias and Sunnis. Discuss Operation Rahat launched by the Indian government for rescuing its citizens from Yemen and the timeline of the crisis between Shi’ite rebels and the Saudi Arabian forces here.

About the Conflict in Yemen

Yemen has been witnessing a fierce conflict between a Saudi led coalition and Shi’ite revels battling in various cities such Sana’a. Meanwhile, Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has fled overseas. The coalition of Saudi forces began bombing Yemen on March 25, 2015 to stop the spread of Shi’ite Houthi rebels who are allegedly being backed ideologically and materially by Iran.


• September 18, 2014: Shi’ite Houthi rebels took control of the capital city of Sana’a; UN brokered a peace deal as per which Houthis withdrew fighters from cities seized once national government has been formed

• October 14,2014: Houthis captured the strategic city of Hudeida in the Red Sea

• November 7, 2014: Yemen announced a new government which was rejected by the Shi’ite Houthis; UNSC imposed sanctions on former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and two allied commanders

• January 19, 2015: Houthi rebels clashed with troops in Sana’a, in what the government referred to as a coup attempt

• January 22, 2015: President Hadi and his government resigned in protest against the takeover by Shi’ite Houthis

• February 7, 2015: The Houthi rebels announced that a transitional 5 member presidential council will replace President Hadi

• February 16, 2015: UNSC denounced the Houthis coup and said the rebels should negotiate an agreement for power sharing under the patronage of the Gulf Cooperation Council

• February 21, 2015: President Hadi fled house arrest in Sana’a to escape to Aden where he rescinded the resignation

• March 16, 2015: Houthis released PM Khaled Bahah and cabinet ministers following two months of house arrest

• March 22, 2015: Houthis seized the central city of Taiz and its airport to ensure the capture and control of more territory across the nation

• March 25, 26 2015: Saudi Arabia in a coalition of 10 nations including members of the Gulf Cooperation council, commenced air strikes at 2 am local time, targeting Houthis rebels in Sana’a

• March 28, 2015; At a meeting of the Arab League in Sharm el-Sheikh, President Hadi called on Houthi rebels to surrender and called for a continued air strike on Houthis targets

• March 29, 2015: Airstrikes destroyed jet fighters in Yemen and targeted scud missiles in this nation leaving launching pads totally destroyed

• March 30, 2015: Clashes take place at Dar Saad in Aden where Hadi loyalists clashed with rebels trying to push their way to reach the northern gate of the city

• Clashes were reported in the Dar Saad district of Aden; close to 100 persons die in the confrontation

• March 31, 2015: Nearly 40 people have been murdered on an attack at Al Mazraq camp for internally displaced persons located in Northern Yemen; Artery shelling
in Aden leads to the death of 26 persons as we'll

• April 1, 2015: Air strike in Hudeida by the Houthis kills 23 workers of a dairy factory

Operation Rahat

• Through this massive evacuation operation, India has rescued close to 3,300 Indians from Yemen

• Operation Rahat was launched by the Indian Navy

• In the latest round of evacuation, around 1,052 Indian nationals were rescued from Yemen

• While 574 Indians were evacuated from Sana’a through Air India in 3 sorties, a group of 479 were rescued by INS Mumbai

• 25 countries including US, Bangladesh and Iraq have sought India’s help in evacuating nationals from strife torn Yemen

• Currently, the number of Indians across Yemen is around 5000 from which 1000 are Indian women married to Yemeni nations

• Number of Indians in Sana’a are around 3000 while 554 are in Aden and 298 in offshore oil fields

• Operation Rahat seeks to rescue Indians stranded in Yemen and it will be wrapped up in a couple of days

Facts and Stats

• This mass evacuation and rescue Operation Rahat was efficient. The Navy, Air Force and Air India were able to rescue nearly 4000 Indians from Yemen

• The effort was coordinated by the MEA under the extremely hostile conditions

• Indian armed forces had to rescue people in the face of Saudi Arabian air strikes. Houthis firepower and al Qaeda fighters in some hears

• Evacuation was controlled from Djibouti where General (retd.) V. K. Singh operated from

• Operation Rahat even rescued non-Indians of 17 differing nationalities including Pakistan

• More than 6 million Indians are employed in West Asia and their safety is imperative ; Yemen has refused to heed government advisories in January 2015 leading to the present situation
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