Following a series of victories on the ground for forces loyal to ousted president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Houthi forces and their allies have withdrawn from much of the south of Yemen, with Shabwah being the latest province to change hands. The military unification of the south of the country has led many to ask what a future Yemen will look like.
Forces loyal to Hadi have been backed by a coalition of Sunni Arab states led by Saudi Arabia that have conducted air strikes against the Shi’ite Houthis.
This has led to a change in fortunes for the Iranian-sponsored group which swept to power across much of the country in September of last year. The fall of the key port city of Aden to Hadi loyalists a month ago signaled a weakening of the Houthis’ grip over the south.
Now, with the opposing sides in the civil war entrenched in different parts of the country, murmurings regarding a permanent division of Yemen are once again circulating.
Commentators see two possible options, a division of the country leading to the creation of the world’s newest state, or a federal system with north and south being run autonomously from each other.
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