Yemen Data Project: Collating data on political violence and Saudi coalition air raids.
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Yemen Data Project Air Raids Summary for September 2018 

Significant rise in air raids on civilian targets

The month of September saw a notable rise in Saudi coalition non-military targeting
Almost half (48%) of all Saudi-led coalition air raids* in Yemen in September hit civilian targets, nearly three times the number (19%) that targeted military sites. This continues the trend seen since the launch of the Saudi coalition's Operation Golden Arrow against pro-Houthi forces in Al-Hudaydah in June. Of the 154 air raids in September where the target could be identified over 70% (110) targeted non-military sites.**

Similar figures were recorded in July with 43% targeting non-military, 19% military. In August 39% targeted non-military sites and 18% military. This marks a significant change to the overall pattern of air raids since the start of the air campaign where almost one third of all targets (32%) have been non-military, 35% military with 33% classified as unknown. 
In 33% of air raids in September the target was recorded as unknown.
**A rise in non-military targeting may be an indication of increased fighting taking place in urban areas resulting in the possible change of use of buildings and/or escalated targeting of civilian sites. The dataset lists target category and subcategory for each incident, where information on the target is available. When listing permanent structures the target category refers to the original use of the target e.g. a school hit by an air raid is referred to as a school building with no further assessment made on its use at the time of the air raid, or any possible change of use over the course of the conflict.

September 2018

 231 air raids

   ↓7% on August 2018
↓ 43% below monthly average

48% targeted non-military sites 9% on August 2018

Total air raids* 26 March 2015 to 30 September 2018: 18,568
Saudi-led coalition air raids fell in September to 231 from 249 in August.

The number of air raids in September was 45% below the monthly average of air raids per month since the air campaign began in March 2015.

While the number of monthly strikes remains well below average for the 3.5 year-long air campaign, Sa'ada and Al-Hudaydah governorates have become the focus of the bombing with more than 76% of strikes in September targeting these two governorates.

Air raids targeted 10 of Yemen's 22 governorates in September. 

The highest number of  air raids recorded in a single month was September 2015, at 920.
Breakdown of districts targeted

Sa'ada has been the most heavily bombed governorate in Yemen since the Saudi-led air campaign began in March 2015. In September, 101 air raids targeted the governorate, the same number as the previous month of August. The north-western border district of Baqim was once again the most heavily hit with 44 air raids.
Breakdown of districts targeted

Air raids in Al-Hudaydah have intensified since the June launch of Operation Golden Arrow by Saudi/UAE- backed anti-Houthi forces. 75 air raids targeted the governorate in September compared to 63 in August and the peak of 101 in July. The most heavily targeted district in the governorate was previously the contested district of Ad Durayhimi where the city's airport is located. In September Al Hali was the most heavily targeted district as the Saudi/UAE led coalition relaunched their ground offensive reportedly aimed at cutting off pro-Houthi supply lines into the city of Al-Hudaydah.
Of the 154 air raids where the targets** were identified in September 2018 
  • 51 targeted residential areas 
  • 21 targeted farms 
  • 25 targeted non-military vehicles and transport - including air raids on boats
  • 4 targeted schools and institutes
  • 3 targeted market places
  • 3 targeted factories
  • 1 targeted a school
  • 1 targeted a radio station
Sub-categories of Air Raid Targets

 September 2018

*Vehicle&Buses sub-category also includes air raids on boats. Five air raids targeted boats in August 2018.
Political Violence Data

Separate to our air raids data collection, as part of our work to enhance conflict monitoring and data sharing YDP is collaborating with the Armed Conflict and Events Data Project on recording fatalities in Yemen. Over 50,000 fatalities were recorded between January 2016 and September 2018.

As of October 2018 around 300 distinct sources have been used to record over 23,000 events between January 2016 and September 2018 in Yemen. This extensive monitoring effort has allowed ACLED and YDP to provide the most comprehensive coverage of political violence across Yemen.

Find out more about the methodology and coding decisions used in the ACLED data collection here.

Download the ACLED/YDP full dataset on political violence and protest events from 1 January 2016 to date
or visit the ACLED website


YDP in the Press

A new report
'Strategies of the Coalition in the Yemen War: Aerial bombardment and food war' by Martha Mundy for the World Peace Foundation using YDP and other data was released on October 9th.

Iona Craig will be speaking about The Yemen Data Project at the Centre for Investigative
Journalism's Logan Symposium on
October 20th in London.

Iona Craig (UK) +447446598852

The Yemen Data Project is an independent, not-for-profit data collection project. For more on who we are and on the methodology of our data collection please visit Yemen Data Project:

The full dataset collated by the Yemen Data Project of air raids carried out from 26th March 2015 to 25th March 2018 is available to download here. An overview of that data is available here.

The Yemen Data Project's dataset is licenced under creative commons. You are therefore free to reuse the data but we ask that you please cite the Yemen Data Project and link back to the dataset. 

*Air raid refers to a single incident or air raid, which in turn may comprise multiple airstrikes. It is not possible to generate an average number of airstrikes per air raid as these vary greatly, from a couple of airstrikes up to several dozen per air raid. For example, in the case of a so-called 'double-tap' strike where first responders appear to be targeted by at least one follow up bombing this would be counted as one incident or, as calculated here, one air  raid.

Copyright © 2017 The Yemen Data Project. All rights reserved.

For further information on the Yemen Data Project please visit or contact the project's volunteer spokesperson, Iona Craig: 
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