"Yemen's internationally backed transition government, which replaced the regime of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012, appears to have fully collapsed. President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi went into hiding on March 25, 2015, after over a year in which his government and tribal allies have gradually been supplanted by an alliance comprised of the Houthi movement and loyalists of former president Saleh. Before disappearing, President Hadi had called on the international community and his Gulf Arab allies to intervene militarily, which Saudi Arabia and other nations did on March 25, bombing Houthi-Saleh forces. There is a significant terrorist presence in Yemen, and U.S. policymakers are concerned that without a willing counterterrorism partner such as President Hadi, the United States may lack necessary intelligence cooperation on the ground to counter groups such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization that has attempted attacks against the United States on several occasions. The White House issued a statement on March 25 blaming the Houthis for causing the crisis in Yemen. The United States recognizes President Hadi as the legitimate leader of Yemen, and President Obama authorized 'the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC-led [Gulf Cooperation Council] military operations.' The Administration claimed that while U.S. forces are 'not taking direct military action in Yemen in support of this effort, we are establishing a Joint Planning Cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate U.S. military and intelligence support.' For the international community, especially the United States, the concern may be over Yemen becoming a proxy war for wider Saudi-Iranian confrontation--a battle which could empower extremists on both sides, especially transnational terrorists allied with either AQAP or the Islamic State."
CRS Report for Congress, R43960
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html