The Saudi Arabia-Yemen War of 2015

The recent civil war in Yemen prompted neighboring Saudi Arabia to intervene militarily six weeks ago, launching airstrikes, bombing targets from border stations, shelling from the sea, and establishing a blockade. Rebels recently overran the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, and forced the Western-backed president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, to flee the country. To halt the uprising, the Saudi government formed a coalition of Arab nations including Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, and Bahrain, with the support of the United States in the form of weapons, intelligence, and naval blockade enforcement. For months now, numerous groups have been battling each other inside Yemen, including factions of ISIS and Al Qaeda, but the main belligerents are the Iran-allied Houthi movement, fighting the Hadi government, backed by Saudi Arabia and the United States. In Yemen, loyalties are mixed, even among government soldiers, and the situation on the ground is chaotic and bleak. Refugees are fleeing by the thousands, as the U.N. reports that nearly 650 civilians have been killed in hundreds of airstrikes in the past month.  Today, Saudi Arabia proposed a five-day ceasefire to allow the distribution of humanitarian aid, on condition that fighting across Yemen stops, while the Houthis demand a complete end to the airstrikes as a condition for UN-sponsored talks.

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