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Remembering the September 21 Revolution in Yemen

On 21 September 2014, the Houthis in Yemen took over the capital Sanaa
Houthis and supporters of ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh gather to protest the Saudi-led operations during a rally on the second anniversary of the Operation Decisive Storm at al-Sabin Square in Sanaa, Yemen on 26 March, 2017 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

Three years ago today the Ansar Allah armed group – otherwise known as the Houthis – took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. Led by Abdul Malik Al-Houthi the group surrounded the home of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and forced him to resign. The Houthis continue to control Sanaa today.

What: September 21 Revolution

When: 21 September 2014

Where: Yemen

What happened?

The Houthi armed group in Yemen has long challenged the central government in the country. In 2011 they protested alongside other opposition groups in favour of ousting President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Three years later they ousted his successor, Hadi, with the help of Saleh. The Houthis called for a public revolution and protests which resulted in an armed effort to take over the capital. Armed protesters joined Houthi fighters as they entered Sanaa, joined by forces loyal to Saleh.

The Houthis took over private buildings and institutions. This was the beginning of the creation of the revolutionary committees, which includes an alliance between the Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces. President Hadi fled to Aden and then eventually to Saudi Arabia, where he took refuge.

What happened next?

In March 2015, at the request of President Hadi, a Saudi-led coalition intervened to prevent military advancements from the Houthi armed group and to reinstate President Hadi.

Two years later, the United Arab Emirates has changed its political outlook on Yemen and is currently the only member of the coalition to support a southern secession governed by the Southern Transitional Council, led by General Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, an ally to the UAE.

The Yemen war is currently in a stalemate with very little change in territorial control.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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Middle EastOn this dayOpinionYemen
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