|Alternate Names||The nation is effectively split in three: the Republic of Yemen; led by the Houthi Movement; the exiled Hadi administration based in Saudi Arabia; and the Southern Transitional Council that controls South Yemen.|
|Established|| October 18, 1918|
|Disbanded|| Still Active |
|Last Modified||Bojicat November 18, 2019 07:57am|
Ancient trading outpost dominated for millennia by merchant families and dynasties made rich by the exchange of goods between East and West - a historic exception to Kipling's famous 'never the twain shall meet' idiom. |
A strategic promontory dubbed by the Romans as 'Arabia Felix' or 'peaceful, happy Arabia', Yemen has become anything but in its modern history - split apart, ravaged by civil war, insurrections, mass murder, dictatorship and abject poverty.
Present-day Yemen endures yet another civil war that began when Houthis rooted in the Zaidi Shiite community launched an insurrection against the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansur Hadi, capturing the capital, Sanaa, and the country's north in 2014.
Saudi Arabia began to financially back and militarily support the Hadi government in March 2015. The Hadi regime has steadily been reduced to a bare-bones operation in Yemen and has almost nothing in the form of an army. The entire government rests in exile in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The Southern half of Yemen proper is de facto separated and controlled by a secessionist state styled the "Southern Transitional Council" (STC), which aspires to re-create the former South Yemen (1967-1990).
The United Arab Emirates provides military and financial backing to the STC militia, called the Security Belt, which is comprised of more than 90,000 Yemeni fighters. The STC is called a 'government-in-waiting', as it is expected in the very near term to declare a 'South Yemen' de jure independent as opposed to its present-day de facto.
The 'Houthi Movement' controls virtually all of what constituted Northern Yemen, and has assumed all of the duties of the Hadi government it overthrew, including naming a new president, hijacking the Yemeni Parliament, and through a Supreme Council, leading a new Republic of Yemen. The leader of the Movement is Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi, a chief of the Shia Zaidi community. The Zaidis comprise around half of the population of Yemen. The uprising has been called the 'Houthi' rebellion due to Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi's leadership and that of his brothers and father, who all emerged from the Houthi tribe, a Hamdanid Arab tribe based in the northern-most corner of Yemen.
The Houthi Movement is backed financially and militarily by the Islamic Republic of Iran.