A civil war that hardly makes the headlines. And yet, 23.8 million people out of a population of 27 million face starvation. Almost six years have passed since the Iran-backed Shia Houthi rebels took the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014. The Saudi-led coalition, backed by the West, has failed to end the war, only aggravating the situation for a population caught in between religious ideology and geopolitics. But this ain’t Yemen’s first rodeo. Far from it.
Britain still controls Aden — which includes the port of Aden in the south and the Aden Protectorate, about the size of Alabama, in the north and east. The port is the country’s power base. Initially, an important coaling station for the Royal Navy, the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal decreased its strategic value, but it’s still the world’s third-largest port.