This conflict has its roots in the failure of a political transition. There was an uprising that forced Yemen's longtime authoritarian president Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over power to President Hadi – his deputy – during the Arab Spring in November 2011. The transition was supposed to bring stability. But President Hadi has really struggled to deal with a variety of problems: attacks by Qaeda, separatist movements, the continuing loyalty of many military officers to the former president Saleh, as well as corruption, unemployment and food security.
"This has proven to be a very destructive conflict. Saudi Arabia has proven to have handled the conflict quite poorly in the views of many among the international community."
This is where the Houthi movement comes in. They are champions of Yemen's Zaidi Shia, a muslim minority who'd fought a series of rebellions against the former president Saleh and took advantage of the new president's weakness by taking control of their northern heartland.
Disillusioned with the transition of power in 2011, many ordinary Yemenis including Sunni supported the Houthis. In September 2014 they entered the capital Sanaa, setting up street camps and roadblocks. At the time it felt like we were seeing another popular uprising, but the Houthis sent security forces loyal to the former president Saleh tried to take over control of the entire country. This forced Mr Hadi to flee abroad in 2015.
"Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East. Since this air campaign began more than 6,500 Yemenis have killed, and tens of thousands have been injured."
That alarmed Saudi Arabia a great deal. It all goes back to the Sunni Shia divide. Saudi Arabia believed that the Houthis specifically were being sponsored and supported by Iran. That prompted Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states to begin an air campaign aimed at trying to restore Mr Hadi's government. This coalition has received logistical and intelligence support from the US, UK, and from France. But still we need to circle this all back to Iran vs Saudi Arabia. This is without a doubt yet another proxy war between the two. However the effects are staggering. Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East. Since this air campaign began more than 6,500 Yemenis have killed, and tens of thousands have been injured. And we're also seeing a famine taking hold in Yemen.
This has proven to be a very destructive conflict. Saudi Arabia has proven to have handled the conflict quite poorly in the views of many among the international community, particularly the US and its allies the UK and France. The United Nations has also been criticised for allowing the aerial campaign by Saudi Arabia and her allies to continue, given just how destructive it's been to the population in Yemen.