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Tiaz, The War has Bestowed a New Title- “City of Snipers”

Introducing Tiaz

Tiaz is a city in southwestern Yemen. It is located in the Yemen Highlands, near the port city of Mocha, on the Red sea, lying at an elevation of about 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) above sea level. It is the capital of Taiz governorate. With a population of over 600,000 in 2005, it is the third largest city in Yemen.

A well-known traveler to Taiz was Ibn Battuta in his travels he describes this city as one of the most beautiful and extensive cities of Yemen. He was invited to a banquet with the king, and received a warm welcome. But the civil war of Yemen between the government and the Houthis turned it to a death trap.Due to the ongoing campaign as part of Yemen’s civil war, Taiz is a battleground and a war zone. Once known as the “cultural capital of Yemen” but the war has bestowed a new title, “city of snipers”.

History of Tiaz

Taiz was ruled by Turan-shah, the older brother of Saladin, after he had conquered Yemen in 1173 CE. Turan-Shah built the citadel on the hill overlooking the old city. In 1175 CE, Taiz was made the capital of Yemen as it was incorporated into dominions of the Ayyubid dynasty by Turan-Shah.


The second Rasulid King, Almaddhafar (1288 CE), established Taiz as the second capital of the Rasulid Dynasty after Zabid. In 1332 Ibn Battutah visited Taiz and described it as one of the largest and most beautiful cities of Yemen.

In the 1500, the capital was moved to Sana’a by the ruler of the Taharid dynasty. In 1516 Taiz came under ottoman control. In 1918 the Ottomans lost Taiz to the new independent yemen.

Taiz remained a walled city until 1948, when Imam ahmed made it the second capital of Yemen, allowing for expansion beyond its fortified wall.[10] In the 1960s, the first purified water system in Yemen was opened in Taiz. In 1962, state administrations moved back to Sana’a.

War & revolution in Taiz

During the Yemen revolutionary fighting in Taiz resulted in anti-government forces seizing control of the city from presidents Ali Abdullah Saleh.

As part of the 2015 Yemeni civil war, on 22 March 2015, the Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh took the city in the aftermath of their coup d’etat in Sana’a. The city became the site of a military confrontation between Houthis and the forces loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi The city was effectively under siege and the United Nations warned of an “extreme and irreversible” food shortage if fighting continued. In August 2015 Yemeni MP Muhammad Muqbil Al-Himyari reported Houthi attacks on civilians in Taiz and appealed for help on Suhail TV (Yemen).

The 2015 confrontation expanded into a military campaign for control of this strategic city. Despite ceasefires and prisoner swaps, the battle continues to this day and the city has been described as a “volatile front line.” The frontline runs through the city from east to west, and journeys across the frontline that once took 5 minutes now take 5 hours.

Reason of naming “Sniper City”:

A report from 2019 shows that 44 children and many civilians were killed by houthis. Recently A six-year-old girl was shot in the head while fetching drinking water.


There has been widespread outrage in Yemen over pictures of child Ruaida Saleh lying on the ground after being shot by a sniper.

The six-year-old girl went out of the house to collect drinking water. At that moment, he was shot in the head.




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