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GregorydJohnsen @gregorydjohnsen
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A brief thread on Yemen, the Houthis, and how we got here
The first Houthi war starts in June 2004 when the Yemeni government under Ali Abdullah Saleh attempts to arrest Husayn Badr al-Din al-Houthi.
The first Houthi war ends in September 2004 when Husayn Badr al-Din al-Houthi is shot and killed in a cave in the north Yemeni governorate of Sadah.
The second Houthi war runs from March - June 2005. The Houthis look to Husayn's elderly father, Badr al-Din al-Houthi, for guidance.
The third Houthi war starts a few months later in November 2005 and runs through March 2006 (In Feb. 2006 23 al-Qaeda suspects tunnel out of a Yemeni prison where they will eventually form AQAP)
The fourth Houthi war starts in January 2007 and runs until June 2007 when both sides agree to a cease fire.
The fifth Houthi war begins in April 2008 and lasts until July 17 when Ali Abdullah Saleh unilaterally declares a ceasefire on the anniversary marking his 30th year in power.
The sixth Houthi war begins in August 2009 and last until February 2010. At one point, as detailed in a wikileaks document, Ali Abdullah Saleh attempts to use the Saudi air force, which has been dragged into the fighting, to take out one of his key generals Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar.
Badr al-Din al-Houthi - Husayn's father - is killed in an AQAP suicide attack in late 2010
Late in 2010 a fruit vendor in Tunisia sets himself on fire, which sparks popular protests and eventually leads to Tunisian President Ben Ali fleeing the country.
Similar protests take place in Cairo, where I was living at the time, eventually forcing Mubarak to step down.
In Yemen something similar is taking place, but in March snipers outside a mosque in Sanaa kill more than 50 protestors
Several generals and politicians led by Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar break with Ali Abdullah Saleh, who refuses to step down from power.
In June a bomb at the presidential mosque narrowly misses killing Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is severely injured in the attack. Saleh leaves for Saudi Arabia and eventually the US for medical attention
In late 2011 Saleh agrees to step down in exchange for immunity and then changes his mind and changes it again and again until finally in February 2012 he resigns. His vice president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi takes over as interim president
The Houthis are the de facto government in Sadah as the central government has been broken and broken again and is too weak to confront them.
In January 2014 Hadi's two year interim term as president is extended for another two years without a vote or a referendum
In June 2014 the Houthis move out of Sadah and into the neighboring governorate of Amran where they begin a campaign of score settling against enemies from the six wars.
By September 2014, with the tacit approval of their old enemy Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Houthis enter Sanaa and take over Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar's house and his bases and force the prime minister to resign.
In November 2014 the UN Security Council sanctions Ali Abdullah Saleh and two top Houthi leaders.
In December 2014 the Houthis kidnap an aide to President Hadi and eventually place Hadi himself under house arrest, where he resigns. The Houthis have carried out a coup d'etat and are now in control of the state.
Hadi escapes to Aden and then to Saudi Arabia and writes a letter to the GCC and the UN Security Council in February 2015 asking for military help removing the Houthis and reinstalling himself in power.
In December 2017 the Houthi-Saleh alliance collapses in four days of bitter street fighting in Sanaa that ends when the Houthis execute Ali Abdullah Saleh - Saleh's nephew Tariq escapes the fighting and Sanaa.
In March 2018, Tariq and nearly 3,000 men switch sides and rejoin the government and begin pushing up the Red Sea coast toward Hodeidah.
In June 2018 the UAE and its Yemeni allies give the Houthis an ultimatum to withdraw from Hodeidah and place the port under UN control.
That ultimatum expired an hour-and-a-half ago.
(Tweet thread at an end - I'm sure I missed things that are important to you - but this was meant as an overview not a comprehensive book for that you should, well, read my book.)
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