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Sanaa rally marks two years of conflict in Yemen

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Sanaa rally marks two years of conflict in Yemen

Thousands of Yemenis have rallied on the streets of Sanaa in support of the Houthi movement.

It marks the second anniversary of the beginning of the conflict with a Saudi-led coalition.

Tens of thousands of Yemeni citizens converged on the al-Sabin Square in the capital, Sanaa.

The roots of the conflict

The Houthi movement hold the Saudi-led coalition responsible for the humanitarian and economic damage Yemen has suffered in the past two years.

Saudi Arabia and a mostly Gulf Arab military coalition have launched thousands of air strikes backed by a small number of ground troops.

The aim is to dislodge the Houthis and restore the internationally-recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

The Houthis are allied to Saudi Arabia’s arch-enemy Iran.They have progressively lost territory to the offensive but maintain control over the capital and most population centres.

What is the current situation?

The Houthis remain in control of Sanaa and much of northern Yemen.

Analysts say the conflict is currently at a stalemate.

The humanitarian cost

The two-year war has pushed Yemen to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

The United Nations says thousands of people have died. Millions have been left in “crisis” or “emergency” food situations.

The country has been described as “at risk of famine”.