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How long can the Houthis hold on to Yemen?

It seems the Houthi rebels are the only ones benefiting from the ongoing war in Yemen, as Saudi Arabia’s and Yemen’s economies have been badly affected.
An armed man loyal to the Houthi movement holds up ammunition as he gathers to protest against the Saudi-backed exiled government deciding to cut off the Yemeni central bank from the outside world, in the capital Sanaa, Yemen August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi - RTX2N19E

Both the Yemeni civil war and the Saudi-led intervention have lasted longer than anyone expected or wanted, a point made clear by the toll the conflict is taking on both countries.

At the end of 2015, nine months after Saudi Arabia formed a 10-nation coalition to fight the expansion of Houthi rebels in Yemen, the kingdom — with a gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $700 billion — posted its highest recorded budget deficit, an indication that the war’s economic implications are not to be taken lightly. Meanwhile, Yemen — which recorded its highest GDP at $37 billion in 2014 — saw its GDP shrink by 35% in 2015. War damage estimates stand around $19 billion, and the imminent insolvency of public institutions is expected. Sanaa-based public institutions, including ministries and the Central Bank of Yemen (CBY), remain under Houthi control, whose takeover of the capital in September 2014 led President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee the country for Saudi Arabia in early 2015.

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