As of January 12th 2024, the US and UK launched a series of strikes on Yemen against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have previously been targeting international shipping in the Red Sea in retaliation to the on-going conflicts in Palestine.
Most of these targets hit by strikes have been in the far west of Yemen along the Red Sea, and in Sanaa – the capital of Yemen. The question now is do these strikes affect travel to Yemen?
Is it safe to travel to Socotra?
YPT were one of the very first travel operators to open Socotra as a tour destination back in 2017 during the height of the civil war caused by the Arab Spring uprising in 2011. Since then, we have constantly maintained communication and relationships with those on the island and especially within the ministry. We operate up to 6 group tours a year to Socotra so our internal staff have a presence on Socotra throughout the year too.
Despite years of civil war, the war never reached Socotra making it the most stable and safest region of Yemen. Most locals even argue that Socotra exists outside the jurisdiction of mainland Yemen and in reality, falls under the UAE.
There no expectations that these recent attacks in the west of Yemen against the Houthis will spread to Socotra – however we will continue to monitor the situation. As for now, our YPT tours to Socotra will continue to operate on schedule.
Will the U.S and UK strikes affect travel to South Yemen or Hadhramaut?
Mainland Yemen remains one of the highest security conscious tours that we here at YPT operate. The mainland is not as straight-forward and is controlled by different governments and militias in power. Hadhramaut has proven to be the most relatively stable regions on mainland in recent years. It is still far from perfect. However, we successfully ran 2 group tours to mainland last year, and cancelled 1 tour due to the October 7th incidences in Gaza.
As things currently stand, we feel that our group tours to South Yemen and the Hadhramaut region can continue with the same amount of precaution and thorough security we prepare for each trip. This is though something we are and will constantly monitor with our contacts in and outside of Yemen.
Will YPT begin operating tours to Sanaa?
Due to quite a popular demand from our travellers, one of our largest goals for 2024 was to begin group tours to Sanaa – the capital of Yemen. It is unfortunate for now that we must wait and see how things progress on this side of the country before we can reconsider allowing our groups in.
For more information on our tours to Socotra or mainland Yemen feel free to contact us.