History in the Making

Document Type



The group Ansar Allah, commonly known as the Houthis, took over the Yemeni capital Sana’a in the Fall of 2014, and have been engaged in a conflict with the exiled government President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and a Saudi-led coalition of mostly Arab countries since March 2015. The Houthis originate from the north-western region of Saada, and represent a faction of Yemen's Zaydi minority, but neither the group nor the conflict in Yemen are primarily sectarian. The situation in Yemen is complicated by various regional, political, and tribal factions that form alliances of convenience for political purposes. The situation is further complicated by the U.S. led War on Terror and its local variations, and the Houthis, a socio-political movement, is a sworn enemy of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula which has been the target of U.S. and Yemeni counter-terrorism efforts in the country. This paper seeks to shed light on the origins and nature of the Houthi movement as well as the realities of the War on Terror in Yemen for a better understanding of the conflict in light of history.