The Yemeni Civil War (Arabic: الحرب الأهلية اليمنية, al-ḥarb al-ʾahlīyah al-yamanīyah) 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.
The civil war began in September 2014 when Houthi forces took over the capital city Sana’a, which was followed by a rapid Houthi takeover of the government. On 21 March 2015, the Houthi-led Supreme Revolutionary Committee declared a general mobilization to overthrow Hadi and expand their control by driving into southern provinces. The Houthi offensive, allied with military forces loyal to Saleh, began fighting the next day in Lahij Governorate. By 25 March, Lahij fell to the Houthis and they reached the outskirts of Aden, the seat of power for Hadi’s government. Hadi fled the country the same day. Concurrently, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched military operations by using air strikes to restore the former Yemeni government. Although there was no direct intervention by Iran, who support the Houthis, the conflict has been widely seen as an extension of the Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict and as a means to combat Iranian influence in the region.
Houthi forces currently control the capital Sanaʽa and all of North Yemen except Maʼrib Governorate. They have clashed with Saudi-backed pro-government forces loyal to Hadi. Since the formation of the Southern Transitional Council in 2017 and the subsequent capture of Aden by the STC in 2018, the anti-Houthi coalition has been fractured, with regular clashes between pro-Hadi forces backed by Saudi Arabia and southern separatists backed by the United Arab Emirates. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have also carried out attacks against both factions, with AQAP controlling swathes of territory in the hinterlands, and along stretches of the coast.
According to ACLED, over 100,000 people have been killed in Yemen, including more than 12,000 civilians, as well as estimates of more than 85,000 dead as a result of an ongoing famine due to the war. In 2018, the United Nations warned that 13 million Yemeni civilians face starvation in what it says could become “the worst famine in the world in 100 years.” The crisis has only begun to gain as much international media attention as the Syrian Civil War in 2018.
The international community has sharply condemned the Saudi Arabian-led bombing campaign, which has included widespread bombing of civilian areas inside the Houthi-controlled western part of Yemen. According to the Yemen Data Project, the bombing campaign has killed or injured an estimated 17,729 civilians as of March 2019.
The United States provided intelligence and logistical support for the Saudi-led campaign. In March 2019, both houses of the United States Congress voted to pass a resolution to end US support to the Saudi Arabia war effort. It was vetoed by President Donald Trump, and in May, the Senate failed to override the veto. However, on 27 January 2021, newly elected President Joe Biden froze arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and on 4 February 2021, Biden officially cut American support for the Saudi coalition.