How the U.S. Became More Involved in the War in Yemen
Since March 2015, the Saudis and their allies have waged a military campaign against the Houthi rebels.
More than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen’s civil war. This week, the United States became more directly involved in the conflict, which already included Saudi Arabia and insurgents with ties to its sectarian rival, Iran.
The Houthis, a Yemeni insurgent group, took over Sana, the capital, in 2014 and unseated the government months later with the help of rogue army units. They have since secured control of a large part of the country.
While Yemen is mostly Sunni, the Houthis are a Shiite group that has been fighting the government on and off since 2004. They have ties to Iran, but the rebels have denied claims by Saudi Arabia and its allies that they receive military support from Tehran.
The United States has helped the Saudi-led military coalition from the beginning.
The Americans are providing targeting intelligence and refueling Saudi warplanes involved in bombing rebel positions. But coalition strikes have also destroyed hospitals, markets and residential neighborhoods, killing large numbers of civilians.
Last Saturday, airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition killed more than 100 people at a funeral in Sana, shown above. More than 10,000 people have been killed in the war, according to the United Nations, and the threat to civilians has increased since the collapse of peace talks in August. An American warship recently fired cruise missiles at radar installations in Yemen. After the Houthi rebels launched two failed missile attacks at an American warship in the Red Sea, another American vessel destroyed three radar installations in Yemen.
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