The Saudi-led coalition air strikes have killed 2,600 people and left another 10,000 injured. The
The Arab Spring came to
Of course, while the decisions were made in
U.S. President Barack Obama called
In late March 2015 a Saudi-led coalition began bombing Houthi positions. Fighter jets from
Many analysts and media tend to point to the Sunni-Shia religious conflict to explain the Saudi-led intervention in
Using both official and unofficial "aid" (in the form of bribes to tribal leaders), the border question and the promotion of the Wahhabi brand of Salafism (Sunni fundamentalism) associated with the Saudi throne, Saudi Arabia has constantly tried to control Yemen as much as possible in order to prevent it from becoming a threat to its own stability. The increasing Salafist Islamisation of the country under Saleh and the Saudis beginning in the mid-1980s drove women out of markets and other public places and forced them to cover themselves almost entirely, along with other religious restrictions imposed on a society that had long been relatively tolerant, both in relations between religions (the majority Sunnis, Shias, Jews and others) and the relation between religion and public life.
The Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah (Partisans of God), says it does not aim to take over the country permanently or make their minority beliefs, the Zaydist variant of Shiaism, a state religion. In fact, not all Houthi tribes are Zaydi. But religion is a major factor, including in the cohesion of the Houthi project to end the exclusion of the Houthi tribal elites from the central power structure get their "piece of the pie" denied to them by the Saleh regime.
At least part of what has made religion a factor is the growing power and aggressive intolerance of Islamic fundamentalism in general, and the intertwining of this element with the geopolitical interests of Saudi Arabia and the U.S, and secondarily those of Iran. These interests are in sharp and growing opposition to those of
Further increasing the people's misery is the way that the status quo is conjoined with the country's very important geopolitical situation: the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, located between
The Saudis exaggerate
Just as the Houthis seek to form a broad coalition on any basis possible against the Saudis and their current puppet, including with old regime military units and now even, paradoxically, Saleh himself,