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In the rocky highlands outside of Yemen's rebel-held capital, it quickly becomes clear how the Arab world's poorest country remains mired in a stalemated civil war.The comparison to Afghanistan, where the U.S. war is now 16 years old, feels apt. Yemen has also seen decades of conflict, first with the 1960s civil war that ended North Yemen's monarchy. Yemen's 2011 Arab Spring protests ultimately forced Saleh to resign, but he continued to wield power behind the scenes and maintained the loyalty of many armed forces commanders. In 2014 he formed an alliance with the Houthis, who he had gone to war with in the past, and helped them capture the capital, Sanaa. Saudi Arabia entered the conflict the following year, at the head of an Arab coalition heavily supported by the United Arab Emirates. As the war has dragged on, it has become more muddled, with internal conflicts erupting on both sides.For now, the war continues, one whistling shell at a time.Col. Yahya al-Hatimi, who has lost three brothers to the fighting, gestured to his village, across the front lines and visible from the mountain top.
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