The label misunderstands the conflict and would harm Yemeni civilians more than the Houthis themselves.
Gregory D. Johnsen is a nonresident fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and the author of “The Last Refuge: Yemen, al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia.”
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The new leader of al-Qaeda's Yemen-based franchise inherits a weakened organization.
Editor’s Note: The war in Yemen has gone from bad to worse, leaving tens of thousands dead and hundreds of thousands of civilians at risk from disease and malnutrition. The war's complexity rivals its brutality, with a dizzying array of actors with discreet and shifting agendas. Gregory Johnsen of the Arabia Foundation describes the three wars Yemen is facing: the struggle against terrorism, the civil war, and the regional struggle encompassing Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran. Each has its own dynamics, and together they are shattering Yemen.
Over the last several days Emirati, Saudi, and Yemeni troops launched an offensive aimed at recapturing the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah. The port city, which accounts for 70 percent of imports into the country, is also a key source of income for the Houthis, a militia group that receives smuggled Iranian missiles and which has controlled the city and the port since October 2014.