Five Years Into Saudi-Led Invasion, Yemen at ‘Rock Bottom’

No sign of war ending as situation deteriorates nationwide

Historically, Yemen gets dragged into a lot of wars, but only once in awhile are their versions of those wars particularly long or consequential. The Saudi invasion of Yemen in 2015 started a war that most Yemenis figured would be over fairly soon, as the Saudis were determined to prop up a friendly puppet state.

Not only is the war not over, however, there’s no immediate indication that it’s even close to over. Indeed, there are more signs that the Saudi-led invasion could splinter into constituent factions fighting over what land they have before the war itself ends.

The Middle East’s poorest country, Yemen didn’t exactly have a lot of wiggle room for a half-decade war, and as a country with almost no farmland they are now at rock bottom, in a state constantly on the brink of mass starvation.

While the Saudis seemed at one point to believe that controlling the food supply would bring them closer to an end game situation, the reality is that Yemen just keeps getting worse, with the situation ever more desperate, and no end in sight.

Locals are eager for the war to be over, and to try to piece back together some idea of normalcy. It’s not clear what that would even look like anymore, since the average Yemeni didn’t stand to gain much of anything from the war, and has already lost everything during it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.