Hanish Islands

Last updated
Location of the islands between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. Hanish.jpg
Location of the islands between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.

The Hanish Islands (Arabic : جزر حنيش) are an island group in the Red Sea. All of them are a part of Yemen, but before 1998 they were claimed by Eritrea as well. After a case in an international court under the guidance of Abdul Karim al-Iryani, Yemen was granted full ownership of the larger Islands, and Eritrea was awarded the peripheral islands to the southwest. [1]


The three largest islands are Jabal Zuqar to the north (about 130 km2), Al-anīsh al-Kabīr (Great Anīsh) to the south (about 116 km2), with the much smaller Al-anīsh al-Ṣaghīr (Little Anīsh) in between.


French-built lighthouse on the Hanish Islands YEMEN LIGHTHOUSE.jpg
French-built lighthouse on the Hanish Islands

The Hanish Islands were claimed by the Ottoman Empire, a claim abandoned by Turkey in 1923. [2] In June 1915 the islands were occupied by Britain to "forestall the Italians". [3] Later they were administered by the Italian colony of Eritrea until 1941 when the Italian colonies surrendered to the British army. [2] Britain subsequently awarded Eritrea to Ethiopia. Throughout the 1970s, Ethiopia and Yemen claimed the islands.[ citation needed ]

Ethiopian interest stemmed from the fact that Eritrean independence groups used the Hanish Islands and the nearby Zuqar Island as a base to attack Ethiopian military interests. [4]

In 1991, Eritrea gained independence and, in 1996, attempted to exercise sovereignty over the archipelago, starting the Hanish Islands conflict, which was eventually ended after a brief conflict between Eritrea and Yemen over the islands. In all, 3–12 Eritreans and 4–15 Yemenis were killed in the fighting.

During the 2015 Yemeni Civil War, the archipelago was the scene of intense fighting between forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi insurgents on one side and forces loyal to acting president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, backed by Gulf Arab coalition forces, on the other. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Republic of Yemen Armed Forces

The Armed Forces of Yemen includes the Yemen Army, Navy, 1st Armored Division, and the Yemeni Air Force (2008). A major reorganization of the armed forces continues. The unified air forces and air defenses are now under one command. The navy is concentrated in Aden. The Yemen Arab Republic and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen joined to form the Republic of Yemen on May 22, 1990.

Hanish Islands conflict Dispute between Yemen and Eritrea

The Hanish Islands conflict was a dispute between Yemen and Eritrea over the island of Greater Hanish in the Red Sea, one of the largest in the then disputed Zukur-Hanish archipelago. Fighting took place over three days from 15 December to 17 December 1995. In 1998 the Permanent Court of Arbitration determined that most of the archipelago belonged to Yemen.

Jabal al-Tair Island

Jabal al-Tair Island is a roughly oval volcanic island in Yemen, northwest of the constricted Bab al-Mandab passage at the mouth of the Red Sea, about halfway between mainland Yemen and Eritrea. From 1996 until it erupted in 2007, Yemen maintained two watchtowers and a small military base on the island.

Yemeni Navy maritime component of the armed forces of Yemen

The Yemeni Navy is the maritime component of the armed forces of Yemen. Yemen's navy was created in 1990 when North and South Yemen united.

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Eritrea.

Eritrea–Yemen relations Bilateral diplomatic relations

Eritrea–Yemen relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Eritrea and Yemen. The states fought briefly over the Hanish Islands in the Red Sea in 1995. In 2004, Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki was invited to and visited Yemen for a two-day working visit. He was accompanied by a number of government ministers and high-ranking military personnel, including foreign minister Ali Said Abdella.

Eritrea–Israel relations Bilateral diplomatic relations

Eritrea–Israel relations are foreign relations between Eritrea and Israel. Both countries established diplomatic relation in 1993 following Eritrean independence. Eritrea has an embassy in the Twin Towers, Ramat Gan and Israel has an embassy in Asmara. Israeli-Eritrean ties are complicated by Israel's close ties to Ethiopia, who have shared an unfriendly dyad with Eritrea for a long time. Nevertheless, their ties are generally considered as close.

Siege of Dammaj Battle of the Yemeni Revolution

The siege of Dammaj started in October 2011 when the Houthis, a Zaydi-led rebel group which controls the Sa'dah Governorate, accused Salafis loyal to the Yemeni government of smuggling weapons into their religious center in the town of Dammaj and demanded they hand over their weapons and military posts in the town. As the Salafis refused, Houthi rebels responded by imposing a siege on Dammaj, closing the main entrances leading to the town. The town was controlled by the Houthis and the fighting was mainly centered at Dar al-Hadith religious school, which is run by Salafis, although its founder imam Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i rejected Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. The Salafis from Dammaj and its Dar al-Hadith imam Sheikh Yahya al-Hajuri claimed that they are totally against al-Qaeda and all that they stand for.

Battle of Aden (2015) Battle of the Yemeni Civil War

The Battle of Aden was a battle for the control of Aden, Yemen, between Houthis rebels and Yemen Army forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh on one side, and Yemen Army units loyal to Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and Southern Movement militias on the other side.

Yemeni Civil War (2014–present) Ongoing civil war in the country of Yemen

The Yemeni Civil War is an ongoing multi-sided civil war that began in late 2014 mainly between the Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi-led Yemeni government and the Houthi armed movement, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the official government of Yemen.

Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen Saudi war against Houthis in Yemen launched in 2015

The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen is an intervention launched by Saudi Arabia on 26 March 2015, leading a coalition of nine countries from West Asia and North Africa, responding to calls from the president of Yemen Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi for military support after he was ousted by the Houthi movement, despite the progress in the political transition led by the United Nations at that time. The conflict ignited between the government forces, the Houthi rebels and other armed groups after the draft constitution and power-sharing arrangements was hammered by the Houthis leading to an escalation of violence in mid-2014. Notwithstanding the agreements brokered by then United Nations, the Houthis and allied units of the armed forces seized control of Sana’a and other parts of the country in September 2014 and over the ensuing months. This has prompted the president to make the plea to Saudi Arabia which happens to be decisive on the prospect of having an Iranian satellite state bordering its southern borders and within the Arabian Peninsula.

The Battle of Dhale was a key fight for control of Dhale, Yemen, between the Houthis and Yemen Army units loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh on one side, and militiamen and Yemen Army units loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi on the other side.

Abyan campaign Campaign of the Yemeni Civil War

The Abyan campaign was a campaign for control of the Abyan Governorate of Yemen, between the Houthis and Yemen Army units loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh on one side, and militiamen and Yemen Army units loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi on the other side, supported by jihadists of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The Pro-Hadi Forces recaptured the Abyan Governorate on 11 August, after launching an offensive on pro-Houthi forces in early August.

Taiz campaign Conflicts in and around Taiz, Yemen, in the civil war from 2015–present

The Taiz campaign is a protracted military confrontation between opposing Yemeni forces in the city of Taiz for control of the city and surrounding area. The battle began one month after the start of the Yemeni Civil War.

Battle of Sanaa (2017)

The Battle of Sanaa (2017) was fought between forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthis in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a. Both sides were allied during the 2014–15 Houthi takeover of the government but the alliance ended when Saleh decided to break ranks with the Houthis and call for dialogue with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who are leading a military intervention in Yemen. Fighting then broke out between the Houthis and forces loyal to Saleh as the Saudi-led coalition began bombing Houthi areas, ultimately resulting in Saleh's death and a Houthi victory.

Marib campaign Campaign of the Yemeni Civil War

The Marib campaign, also called Marib offensive, is a campaign for control of the Marib Governorate of Yemen, between the Houthi fighters and Yemeni Army units loyal to Supreme Political Council on one side, and pro-Hadi militiamen and Yemeni Army units loyal to Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi on the other side.

Battle of Al Hudaydah Battle of the Yemeni Civil War

The Battle of Al Hudaydah, codenamed as Operation Golden Victory, was a major Saudi-led coalition assault on the port city of Al Hudaydah in Yemen. It was spearheaded by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and has been considered as the largest battle since the start of Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen in 2015.

2020 in Yemen List of events

Events of 2020 in Yemen.

Battle of Marib

The Battle of Marib is an ongoing battle that erupted following the advance of the Houthis towards the city of Marib, the capital of Marib Governorate in Yemen controlled by the Cabinet of Yemen in February 2021.


  1. "International Maritime Boundary". Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2006-07-17.
  2. 1 2 Dzurek, Daniel J (1996). "Eritrea-Yemen Dispute Over the Hanish Islands". IBRU: Centre for Borders Research.
  3. Baldry, John (1976). "Anglo-Italian Rivalry in Yemen and ʿAsīr 1900-1934". Die Welt des Islams. 17 (1/4): 155–193. doi:10.2307/1570344. ISSN   0043-2539. JSTOR   1570344.
  4. Killion, Tom (1998). Historical Dictionary of Eritrea. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN   0-8108-3437-5.
  5. "Coalition forces capture Yemeni islands from Houthis". www.aljazeera.com.

Coordinates: 13°45′N42°45′E / 13.750°N 42.750°E / 13.750; 42.750