Yemeni President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi resigned on Thursday, capping a three-day span in which the major institutions of the Yemeni state dramatically plunged into ever-deeper levels of irrelevance.
With Iran-assisted Houthi rebels surrounding the presidential palace, kidnapping the presidential chief of staff, and opening fire on an American diplomatic vehicle, the entire Yemeni cabinet, the vice president, and president acknowledged the reality that they are no longer in any meaningful control of the country.
The situation in Yemen is remarkably complex. The Houthis are Shi’ite Muslims allied with Iran but aren’t directed by Tehran to the degree that Iran’s Lebanese or Iraqi proxies are. Houtis also adhere to a different cultural and ideological strain of Shi’ite Islam than does Iran’s revolutionary regime.