top of page

Yemen: History and Current Situation

The Republic of Yemen, the area of Houthi, has recently been stroke by two major countries’ military forces: the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Before talking about what led to this strike, talking about what Houthi is and both the history of Yemen and their relations with the United Kingdom and the United States is essential.

Houthis are an armed political and religious group that are a part of the Iranian-led “axis of resistance” against Israel, the United States, and Hamas. They are formally known as Ansar Allah, which means Partisans of God. They have been fighting for rebellions to take over the control of the Northern part of the country and they now control Sanaa and the Red Sea coastline as well as Northwestern Yemen.

Yemen, is a Western Asia country located in the Arabian Peninsula, neighbouring Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden. Their border to the Red Sea influences their economic, cultural and population significantly, since it is a very strategic location. Their territory includes two hundred islands, and Yemen is the only country on the Arabian Peninsula that has the republican form of government, distinguishing Yemen from other countries and thus their old name was Arabia Felix, meaning Happy Arabia.

The history of Yemen stretches to almost 3000 years ago, being one of the oldest civilisations in the Near East. In 1990, the two different sides of Yemen — Yemen Arab Republics and Democratic Republic of Yemen — came together with a unanimous agreement called “Sanaa.” The name of this agreement came from the city Sana, which was formerly the capital of Yemen Arab Republic and the capital city of The Republic of Yemen today. During those years, Yemen was under the control of the Islamic Caliphs, British Empire, Egyptians and the Ottoman Empire. After long years of being under the control of different countries with different cultures, Yemen became a part of the Arab League in 1945 and the United Nations in 1947.

So, let’s now talk about the relations between Yemen and the United States. The US maintained a proper diplomatic relationship in the 1880s, and in 1959 they opened a consulate. The military leaders launched a revolutionary movement, and they overthrew the monarchic order and brought a republic, resulting in the creation of the Yemen Arab Republic.

The relations between the United Kingdom and Yemen started long ago with Yemen being under the control of the British Empire. In the war that started in 2015, sources suggest, it would not be wrong to say that Britain has indicated some war crimes, resulting in a huge humanitarian disaster, one of the biggest of all time. Nearly 9,000 citizens were killed, and 25,000 airstrikes were facilitated. The weak government in Yemen resulted in more damage in the infrastructure, and many people losing their lives, houses, parents and loved ones; creating a basis for the actions of the United Kingdom since they knew that Yemen was not able to confront them.

Now, let’s talk about the strikes that the US and the UK carried out against Yemen. On Thursday, January 11th 2024, Iran-controlled Houthi in the areas of Yemen. US president Joe Biden suggested that he ordered the strikes as a response to the Houthi against the maritime vessels in the Red Sea and he also warned Houthi to stop their attacks or else they will face the consequences. These strikes killed 5 and wounded 6 people, and the US suggests that 60 targets across 28 sites were hit.

To sum up, these strikes were generally because of the Houthis who have partial control of Yemen and are backed by Iran the response of the US and UK made Yemen serving as a point of tension in the Red Sea region.

Works Cited

Hansler, Oren Liebermann, Haley Britzky, Natasha Bertrand, Kevin Liptak, Alex Marquardt, MJ Lee, Jennifer. “US and UK Carry out Airstrikes against Iran-Backed Houthis in Yemen | CNN Politics.” CNN, 11 Jan. 2024.

Burrowes, Robert, and Manfred W Wenner. “Yemen | People, History, & Facts.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 6 Feb. 2019.

“Yemen - Places in the News | Library of Congress.”.

“U.S. Relations with Yemen - United States Department of State.” United States Department of State, 2018.

CURTIS, MARK. “Britain’s Covert War in Yemen.” Declassified Media Ltd, 5 Oct. 2022.

‌“Who Are the Houthi Rebels and Why Are They Attacking Red Sea Ships?”, 22 Dec. 2023.

bottom of page