It is frankly disgusting how the same shitty playbook plays out again: the current “official” government of Yemen came into power when protests in 2011 turned into something approaching a civil war, with shelling of the presidential palace and fighting in the streets.
Saudi Arabia and a bunch of other actors took sides with the opposition against the government then in power. (and of course the US gave their agreement)
This is the same approach that those actors chose in Libya, btw, taking sides in a civil war against the government, just with more active involvement of European powers. And that they were too nervous to fully follow in Syria even though they want that government gone.
The resulting agreement was not exactly to the liking of all protesters and most importantly the Houthi minority in North Yemen, in part because the structure of the state itself didn’t really change much. Those Houthis had been opposed to the prior government and had been bombed by Saudi Arabia for it because the Saudis are nervous about Shiite rebels at their southern border. That same Saudi Arabia which eventually pushed out the government the Houthis were opposed to.
Over the last half year or so the Houthi have been winning a new civil war in Yemen. A few days ago, Sunni suicide bombers blew themselves up in Shiite mosques. The same kind of Sunni radicals that the US (and its “allies”) is currently supposedly so worried about in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia etc. – opposed to the Shiite militia winning the civil war in Yemen.
And yesterday Saudi Arabia and a bunch of other North African states (and apparently Pakistan) decided to intervene in the civil war in Yemen – on the side of the government (with logistical and intelligence support from the US). One of those states is Egypt, which pushed their own democratically elected government out by military force not too long ago without having been sanctioned for it in any way. Others include states that have flown air strikes against Sunni militias in Libya – not during the civil war against Gaddafi but during the current civil war, the one that followed Gaddafi’s ouster and death.
So armed rebellions against existing governments are wrong, unless they aren’t – as so often before. Or in the words of the US state department