Segments in this Video

Reporting from Yemen (02:51)


Houthi rebels pushed into Sana'a, taking advantage of a weak government. They are Zaidi Muslims from the Shia branch; hear their anti-American political slogan. Safa al Ahmad stays with Radiya, a human rights activist whose father is a local politician.

Anti-Corruption Investigation and New Enemies (04:44)

Houthi rebels allow the Yemeni government to continue functioning. Ahmad accompanies Abdul al Abdulillah of the secretive Revolutionary Committee as he confronts the Ministry of Finance about billions of missing riyals. Sunni Al-Qaeda detonates a bomb, killing Houthi rally participants.

Houthi Rebel Origins (03:46)

Zaidis ruled North Yemen for 1,000 years and comprise 25% of the population. Hussein al Houthi believed 9/11 was an American and Zionist ploy to attack Islam. Ahmad visits the Sa'dah Mountains cave where he was martyred by the Yemeni government.

Scars of War (04:49)

In 2009, Saudi Arabia joined the Yemeni government attacking the Houthi stronghold; media blackouts prevented news from reaching the West. Um Zayd recalls atrocities during the siege on Sa'dah. Ahmad visits a "no man's land" on the Saudi border.

Houthi Vision (02:03)

The rebel group wants to unite the Muslim world, beginning with taking over Saudi Arabia. Saudis accuse them of collusion with Iran and back Sunni tribes in Yemen.

Al-Qaeda in Yemen (05:54)

Ahmad visits Ja'ar in 2012, where fundamentalist laws are enforced. Ansar al-Sharia fighters took dozens of Yemeni soldiers prisoner; Ahmad films them asking the government to agree to a prisoner exchange. She leaves to avoid U.S. drone and Yemeni air force attacks.

Houthi Control (03:39)

Rebels took over Al-Qaeda territory in Al Bayda province. In Rada'a, Ahmed films Al-Qaeda’s former headquarters in the Al Amriya mosque; they encouraged sectarian violence in the historically tolerant city. Ahmad also meets orphaned children.

Defending Rada'a (04:27)

Al-Qaeda suicide bombers remain a threat in Rada'a. Locals fear retribution if Houthis retreat, but rebels are determined to stay. Ahmad's camera crew crosses into tribal territory where Sunni militias fight against Houthi oppression.

Sunni Alliances (04:13)

Tribes are uniting in opposition to Houthis; some align with Al-Qaeda and support ISIS. In Sana'a, the Houthi are consolidating control, including the media. Men show Ahmad's team an alleged Al-Qaeda bomb factory, but the suspects deny involvement.

Oppressive Measures (03:55)

As Ahmad's team passes a village, two boys flag them down to show them homes destroyed by the Houthis. In Sana'a, Houthis took over Sunni mosques. The ousted imam discusses sectarianism; gunmen prevent Ahmad from interviewing the caretaker.

Assassinations (05:17)

Pharmacist Wathah Al Hitari was assassinated. Houthis deny responsibility but offer his family money; they refuse to take it. Al-Qaeda is suspected of assassinating Dr. Mohammed Abdulmalik; no one claims responsibility. His daughter Radiya is angry at the situation in Yemen.

Yemen Unravels (04:54)

Ahmad travels to Aden, a city calling for independence from the north. Houthi journalist Abdulrahman Wajeeh Al Deen says Houthis have been infiltrating the south. Ahmad films a secession rally suppressed by government forces. Saudi air strikes target the Houthis; ISIS grows stronger.

Credits: The Fight for Yemen (00:60)

Credits: The Fight for Yemen

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The Fight for Yemen

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FRONTLINE, in conjunction with BBC Arabic, presents this special report from inside the Yemeni war zone. Reporter Safa Al Ahmad delivers a dramatic look at the conflict in Yemen as it has been building—exposing the violent feuds tearing the country apart, the rival anti-American and Al Qaeda aligned forces fighting for control, and the dangerous consequences for the region and the world.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL131321

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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