Yemen Data Project: Collating data on political violence and Saudi coalition air raids.
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Saudi Coalition Bombings at Record Low

Coalition air raids* reached an all-time low in October with 83 bombings recorded. The previous monthly low in the air war was August this year, at 89. Civilian casualty numbers in October also reached a notable low with 9 casualties recorded. Over the entire aerial campaign only in July 2019 were there fewer civilian casualties recorded in a single month.

The deadliest bombing in October was an air raid on a civilian vehicle in the Kitaf Wa Al-Boqe'e district of Sa'ada on 21 October that killed 5 civilians, including 2 women and 2 children

Saudi/UAE-led coalition air raids targeted 6 of Yemen's 22 governorates in October. 82% of bombings in the month hit the two governorates of Sa'ada and Hajja. In Al-Hudaydah the 4 air raids in October marked the highest number recorded in a single month in the governorate since January 2019 - the month after a ceasefire was declared. Three of the bombings hit fishing boats - the highest number of air raids on fishing boats since August 2018 - killing one civilian and injuring another.

2019 has seen a significantly lower rate of bombings compared to 2018 when the monthly average of coalition air raids was 2.5 times higher than this year. Of the 10 lowest monthly tallies of bombings since the Saudi/UAE-led air war began in 2015, 8 of those months have been in 2019 with the two remaining months covering the period of the 2016 ceasefire. The average monthly number of bombings for the air campaign stands at 362 with the average number of civilian casualties in air raids at 328 per month. The average so far this year has been 112 bombings per month with civilian casualties averaging 78 per month.
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AIR RAIDS 20,273
Saudi/UAE-led coalition air raids fell by 25% in October to 83 from 111 in September.
The highest number of air raids recorded in a single month remains September 2015 at 920. This was also the deadliest month in the air war when at least 756 civilians were killed and at least 566 injured.

April 2015 saw the highest number of civilian casualties (fatalities and injured) in a single month at 1,745.

In YDP's data the air raid* figure is the most conservative. The true number of individual airstrikes ranges from the minimum of 20,273 to a maximum airstrikes of 57,345 since March 2015.
Deadliest bombings for civilians in October 2019

Three air raids left 7 civilians dead in October

5 civilians dead
21 October 2019, civilian vehicle, Kitaf Wa Al-Boqe'e, Sa'ada
2 women and 2 children amongst the dead

1 civilian dead, 1 injured
28 October 2019, fishing boat, Al-Salif, Al-Hudaydah

1 civilian dead
21 October 2019, main road, Razih, Sa'ada
OCTOBER  2019 

In October, 31% of bombings hit civilian targets** 31% hit military targets. In 38% of air raids in October the target could not be identified. Of the 52 air raids where the target could be identified, 50% of bombings hit non-military sites and 50% military.
Of the 52 air raids where the target was identified in October 2019 
  • 26 hit armed forces, military sites and military moving targets. 
  • 13 hit residential areas, resulting in 1 civilian casualty
  • 6 hit farms 
  • 3 hit fishing boats, resulting in 2 civilian casualties
  • 2 hit civilian vehicles, resulting in 5 civilian casualties
  • 2 hit transport infrastructure, resulting in 1 civilian casualty
Air Raids During Al-Hudaydah Ceasefire
A tentative ceasefire has been in place in Al-Hudaydah since mid-December. Four air raids were recorded in the governorate in October - the highest number recorded in Al-Hudaydah since January 2019. A total of 19 air raids have been recorded in Al-Hudaydah since the ceasefire came into force at midnight on 18 December, including 6 air raids on fishing boats.
This is a notable reduction on the pre-ceasefire high of 103 air raids in Al-Hudaydah in November 2018.
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SA'ADA: Breakdown of districts targeted
Sa'ada continues to be the most heavily bombed governorate in the air war. In October, 41 air raids were recorded in the governorate, down from 52 in September. Sa'ada was the target of 49% of all coalition bombings in October. Seven civilian casualties were recorded. Baqim on the northern border was the most heavily targeted district in the country in October with 10 air raids.
Sa'ada has been the most heavily bombed governorate in Yemen since the Saudi/UAE-led air campaign began. Almost a quarter (24%) of all recorded air raids in Yemen since March 2015 have targeted Sa'ada.
HAJJA: Breakdown of districts targeted
Hajja was the second most heavily targeted governorate in October with 27 air raids. No civilian casualties were recorded. Almost a quarter (33%) of all coalition air raids in Yemen in the month targeted Hajja.
Since the declared ceasefire in Al-Hudaydah in mid-December air raids have focused on Hajja and Sa'ada. In October, 82% of all coalition bombings targeted these two governorates.
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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 Location and Event Data Project on countrywide political violence data.
This extensive monitoring effort has allowed ACLED and YDP to provide the most comprehensive coverage of political violence across Yemen.
ACLED's methodology on casualty counting differs from Yemen Data Project's air raids data. See here for more details on ACLED's methodology and coding decisions used in their data collection.
Iona Craig (UK) +447446598852
*Air raid refers to a single incident. One air raid incident includes all air strikes on a single location within approximately one hour and therefore may comprise multiple airstrikes. Airstrikes per air raid can vary greatly from a couple to several dozen. Read more.
**Non-military targeting may be an indication of 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.
Copyright © 2019 The Yemen Data Project. All rights reserved.

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