Yemen is in the grip of its most severe crisis in years, as competing forces fight for control of the country.
Impoverished but strategically important, the tussle for power in Yemen has serious implications for the region and the security of the West.
Yemen’s security forces have split loyalties, with some units backing Mr Hadi, and others the Houthis and Mr Hadi’s predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has remained politically influential. Mr Hadi is also supported in the predominantly Sunni south of the country by militia known as Popular Resistance Committees and local tribesmen.
The conflict between the Houthis and the elected government is also seen as part of a regional power struggle between Shia-ruled Iran and Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, which shares a long border with Yemen.
Gulf Arab states have accused Iran of backing the Houthis financially and militarily, though Iran has denied this, and they are themselves backers of President Hadi.
Yemen is strategically important because it sits on the Bab al-Mandab strait, a narrow waterway linking the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden, through which much of the world’s oil shipments pass.
Bombing in Yemen intensifies; Arab League to discuss military operation :
Continuous strikes in capital
Friday night, the Saudi-led airstrikes on Sanaa were continuous.
Jets bombarded Hadi’s weapons caches and other military assets, Houthi and Yemeni government officials said. And Saudi Arabia claimed major successes.
The Royal Saudi Air Force crushed all major air defense weapons of the Houthis and their allies, a Saudi adviser said Saturday. They wiped out main military infrastructure around Sanaa and destroyed most of the main roadways connecting the capital with major cities Taiz and Aden.