Showing posts with label Sana'a. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sana'a. Show all posts

October 19, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015 - ,,, No comments

UNITAR - UNOSAT and UNDP Reports on Destruction in the City of Sana'a, Sana'a Governorate, Yemen and Its Effects on Civilians

On August 28, 2015 UNITAR’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme - UNOSAT, a technology-intensive programme delivering imagery analysis and satellite solutions to relief and development organisations within and outside the UN system illustrated satellite-detected damage and analysis of the destruction in the city of Aden, Aden Governorate, Yemen. 

Using satellite imagery acquired 10 and 23 September 2015, as well as 15 May 2015, UNITAR-UNOSAT they have now done the same thing for the city of Sana'a, Sana'a Governorate, Yemen. 

As noted in an earlier ARCA blog post Sana'a is the largest city in Yemen and the centre of Sana'a Governorate. Inhabited for more than 2,500 years, Sana'a old city is an UNESCO World Heritage Site (Date of Inscription: 1986) noted for its many-storeyed tower-houses built using pisé de terre, an ancient rammed earth method of construction that dates back to at least 7000 BCE in Pakistan.   Prior to becoming the latest victim of unrest the city of Sana'a hosted 103 mosques, 14 hammams and over 6,000 houses, all built before the 11th century.

The UNITAR-UNOSAT report, published October 15, 2015 identified a total of 652 affected structures within a city.  Detailing their findings the report noted
Approximately 283 of these were impacted as of 10 and 23 September 2015, with 54 destroyed, 94 severely damaged, and 135 moderately damaged. Previously, using the 15 May 2015 satellite image, UNITAR-UNOSAT had located 369 affected structures, of which 60 were destroyed, 72 severely damaged, and 237 moderately damaged. Additionally, 8 impact craters and 16 areas with significant amounts of debris were observed in September 2015. A total of 7 medical facilities were identified within 100 meters of damaged and destroyed buildings, and it is possible that these facilities also sustained some damage. Notably, as of 10 and 23 September 2015, significant reconstruction of structures damaged as of 15 May 2015 was visible across the examined area. This is a preliminary analysis and has not yet been validated in the field.  

A copy of the report in its entirety can be found here.  Along with a full-sized PDF version of the site damage map here

Image Credit World Food Program (WFP), Rome
Another UN group, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been working in Yemen to document how the conflict has changed the daily lives of a normal citizen. Over a six month period they have been collecting interviews from within six different governorates in Yemen -Sana’a, Taiz, Hadhramout, Hajjah, Sa’adah, and Ibb asking the Yemeni’s they spoke with to speak of their main daily challenges, their future concerns and what ongoing risks they face on a daily basis. 

For a stark look at life for the Yemeni people under such conditions their eye-opening report can be read here. Yemen needs courageous and compassionate people if it is to turn around from these catastrophic realities.

By Lynda Albertson




September 28, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015 - ,,,,, No comments

UNITAR-UNOSAT Damage Assessment of Aden, Aden Governorate, Yemen

This map, produced August 28, 2015 by UNITAR’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme - UNOSAT, a technology-intensive programme delivering imagery analysis and satellite solutions to relief and development organisations within and outside the UN system illustrates satellite-detected damage and analysis of the destruction in the city of Aden, Aden Governorate, Yemen. 

Using satellite imagery acquired 21 August 2015, 10 May 2015, and 31 December 2014, UNITAR-UNOSAT has identified a total of 839 affected structures, a 30 percent increase from the previous 10 May 2015 analysis. Approximately 356 structures were destroyed, 202 severely damaged, and 270 moderately damaged. Additionally, 50 impact craters were found within the city, the majority of which were located in the vicinity of Aden International Airport. A total of 13 medical facilities were identified within 100 meters of damaged and destroyed buildings, and it is possible that these facilities also sustained some damage. 

This is a preliminary analysis and has not yet been validated in the field. If you have further information on the situation in Aden please send ground feedback to UNITAR-UNOSAT by contacting them here. 

UNITAR-UNOSAT has also developed early situation reports and analysis of other Yemen urban areas.  The most recent, completed to date are linked below. 

     Taiz City, At Ta'Ziah District, published July 9, 2015
     Sana'a City, Sana'a Governorate, published June 6, 2015
     Sadah, Saada Governorate, published May 20, 2015

The situation in Yemen is presently considered a complex emergency. 

For further information on UNITAR-UNOSAT's analysis of the situation in Yemen please check the UNITAR page on Yemen frequently. 

To follow citizen and media reporting on the destruction in Yemen via social media, please consider following Archaeology in Yemen, a Facebook page coadministered by the Association for Research into Crimes against Art and Archaeology in Syria Network 



September 20, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015 - ,, No comments

Lest We Forget Yemen - Update on Airstrikes on UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old City of Sana'a


Smoke billows following airstrikes in the capital of
Sana’a on August 20, 2015.
(Image Credit: AFP / Mohammed Huwais)
In one of the heaviest nights of bombardment in months, aid workers and witnesses report that air raids on Saturday, September 19 led by Saudi-led coalition warplanes,  killed at least 30 in Yemen's capital city of Sana’a.  Ten of the dead were members of the same family, killed in the Al-Falihi neighbourhood in the city's old town. 

The Local Council of Sana’a called on all UN agencies and regional and Arab organizations, as well as UNESCO, to denounce Saudi-led airstrikes against the Old City of Sana’a and to work diligently to find a resolution, condemning the ongoing attacks against the city. 

Oman’s Sultanate, through the Foreign Ministry, also summoned Eid Mohammed Al Thaqafi, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia and handed him a written letter of protest demanding an explanation after an alliance’s air strike targeted the residence of the Omani ambassador yesterday in the southern neighbourhood of Hadda, a southwestern neighbourhood of Sana'a. 

Oman's objection memo read



According to Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat, military spokesman, Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Asiri, said the coalition had targeted the Yemeni Interior Ministry building and forces loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, not the Omani ambassador's residence. In addition to the Omani residence and the Interior Ministry building, the overnight sorties struck a police station, the presidential complex of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and a party building.  The presidential complex had already been damaged in 2011, injuring Saleh and killing several others.

Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement strongly denouncing Saturday’s incident and requesting that the United Nations undertake measures for ending the war in Yemen before it becomes a serious threat to the security of the region. Oman is the singular Gulf state that does not belong to the Saudi-led coalition and has offered to host planned UN-mediated peace talks between the government and rebels.

Sana'a is the largest city in Yemen and the centre of Sana'a Governorate. Inhabited for more than 2,500 years, Sana'a old city is an UNESCO World Heritage Site noted for its many-storeyed tower-houses built using pisé de terre, an ancient rammed earth method of construction that dates back to at least 7000 BCE in Pakistan.    Prior to becoming the latest victim of unrest the city of Sana'a hosted 103 mosques, 14 hammams and over 6,000 houses, all built before the 11th century. 

Dr. Iris Gerlach, a specialist in the archaeology of southern Arabia and director of the Sana’a Branch of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) has provided UNESCO with a “no-strike” list of all the important archaeological sites in Yemen to forward on to the Saudi government.  She conceded 


On September 01, 2015, The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) documented 6,631 civilian casualties, including 2,112 civilian deaths, and 4,519 wounded since the start of the conflict in Yemen escalated in March 2015.

Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and Jennifer Welsh, UN Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, issued a statement September 15th on the situation in Yemen expressing concern at the ever increasing impact on civilians of the ongoing conflict and the virtual silence of the international community about the threat to populations.

As we continue to destroy the past, we are losing the future. 

By: Lynda Albertson,